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The voice o internationa business in Singapor

www.sicc.com.

SICC SG50 Commemorative Publication


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TOURISM

Foreword by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry I am pleased to pen this foreword for the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce’s (SICC) publication ‘Sustaining Singapore’s Success’. From insightful company features to discussion pieces, this celebratory edition provides a glimpse into industry leaders’ plans to sustain their businesses, cope with the changing economic and business landscape, and celebrate milestones. Singapore’s economic story is marked by a relentless effort to remain competitive and relevant within a dynamic external environment. We have evolved from a labour-intensive economy through industrial transformation to one that is well-diversified and knowledge-based, driven by innovation, technology and skills. By progressively strengthening our core capabilities, we have sustained our value proposition and fared well against the challenges of the last five decades. International companies see Singapore as a compelling business destination and a gateway to Asia. Sustaining quality economic growth will continue to be a national priority. To achieve this, Singapore must continue to ascend the value chain, harnessing the twin engines of productivity and innovation. With steady investments in education, training and Research and Development, we are positioning ourselves to be among the leaders in future growth clusters such as Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Health Sciences, Smart Urban Solutions, Logistics and Aerospace, and Asian and Global Financial Services. We have also launched the SkillsFuture initiative, which entails close collaboration between the government and business to build an integrated system of education, training and career progression. New skills and capabilities will create new opportunities for Singaporeans and businesses to compete in the evolving global economic landscape. Singapore’s continued success will depend critically on skills upgrading, adaptability, and nimbleness in the face of change. Another important thrust in keeping our economy vibrant and dynamic is our advocacy for an open and globally connected economy. Indeed, our deep and broad economic links have been central to our competitive advantage, including more recent efforts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), set to be formed by end 2015, will unite the 10 member nations of ASEAN into a common market. The advent of the AEC will afford greater market access and new opportunities for businesses. SICC plays an important role in this endeavour. True to its mission, SICC has been promoting Singapore as a business hub and helped many international companies establish operations in Singapore. SICC also contributes to economic policy formulation by representing the views of the international business community to the government to achieve a win-win outcome that will enhance Singapore’s competitiveness and business environment. As Asia and ASEAN continue to grow, there will be more opportunities for investors to leverage Singapore’s strengths and capabilities as a springboard to seize new opportunities. I look forward to the partnership between SICC and the Government continuing to play a key role in shaping Singapore’s economic future.


TOURISM

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


TOURISM

Dear members and friends Founded in Singapore in 1837, the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC) is proud of its heritage as Singapore’s oldest chamber. SICC remains part and parcel of the fabric of this country. Proof of that is our diverse membership base which is a wonderful mix of foreign and local large companies and SMEs. SICC’s inclusiveness is also reflected in the diverse articles from members, academics, journalists and individuals contained in this commemorative publication. There is one common theme running through the different articles. All of them illustrate how individuals and companies benefit from, and prosper with, Singapore. SICC members are celebrating SG50 in a number of different ways. In addition to each company’s own activities, members have supported this publication and the launch of SICC’s first ever awards programme: Innovations in Productivity. Again, members’ continued support for education is illustrated by a special donation made this year to the Lee Kuan Yew Education Fund in memory of the Republic of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister. SICC is also marking the 10th anniversary of its annual support of the exchange programmes for two SMU students. The Chamber will be making further awards later this year. On behalf of my board colleagues, I would like to express my thanks to all those who have contributed to this commemorative publication. On behalf of all SICC members, it is my honour and privilege to wish Singapore a very happy 50th anniversary as a sovereign nation. We wish the Republic of Singapore, all Singaporeans, residents and the business community sustained success in the years to come. Majulah Singapura!

The voice of international business in Singapore

6 Raffles Quay #10-01 Singapore 048580 General T +65 6500 0988 F +65 6224 2785 Certification Dept T +65 6500 0950 F +65 6534 1052 W www.sicc.com.sg E general@sicc.com.sg

Yours sincerely

Rolf Gerber Chairman of the Board 2013-2015 Singapore International Chamber of Commerce

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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TOURISM

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


TOURISM

Singapore’s NEW University

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) officially became Singapore’s fifth autonomous university on 28 March 2014 when it was officially gazetted by Parliament. As a university of applied learning, our mission is to produce graduates who can continually adapt to a fast-changing economy by offering undergraduate degree programmes in niche areas of industry with high demand for skilled manpower. Prior to 2014, SIT offered degrees in partnership with reputable overseas universities. These partnerships have expanded to include industry partners who seek graduates trained in specific fields including Physical Science & Engineering; Food Science & Chemical Engineering; Information Communications & Computing; Health Sciences, as well as Design, Education & Social Sciences. One example of how industry partners are deeply involved in the development of degree programmes is the Industry Advisory Committees (IACs) comprising key industry leaders, who help shape the curriculum of SIT’s new applied degree programmes. The IACs ensure that the programmes are not only academically rigorous, but also relevant to industry.

SIT-DNA

While SIT students are taught deep specialist skills in their chosen fields, the university aims to produce graduates who are imbued with the SIT-DNA: Thinking Tinkerers – The SIT student is practically-oriented and fundamentally sound. He/She is both knowledgeable and skilled with his/her hands, able to solve practical issues, come up with innovative solutions and always seeking to improve things.

Able to Learn, Unlearn & Relearn – SIT students are living in a time where technological change is constant and new knowledge is accelerating. They will have to learn to adapt very quickly to an ever-evolving work environment and be prepared to learn beyond the classroom so that they are well-equipped to flourish and thrive in the workplace. Catalysts for Transformation – The SIT student is a game changer who will seek to change industry by improving productivity, increasing efficiency and creating value through innovation. He/She will help companies generate growth pathways through innovating with new products or improving on existing services and processes. Grounded in the Community – At the heart of every SIT student is an appreciation for the larger community that he/she serves. Whether at work, at home or on campus, the SIT student is fully aware of their responsibility to society and of always staying grounded in their community.

Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP)

This is what makes an SIT degree programme different and sets it apart from others. The unique IWSP immerses students in a real, work environment for eight to 12 months, imparting industryspecific skills while they learn on-the-job, enhancing classroom knowledge and aiding in the development of an innovation mindset. Students on IWSP are supported by SIT faculty and supervisors in order to help companies solve real-work problems as well as identifying possible capstone projects. As SIT continues to evolve, it remains focussed on its vision of becoming a leader in innovative university education by integrating learning, industry and community. Visit singaporetech.edu.sg to find out how we are fast becoming Singapore’s university of applied learning. SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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TOURISM

Edwards Lifesciences: Helping Patients is Our Life’s Work

To Our Partners at the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, Edwards Lifesciences established operations in Singapore in 2005, and we are proud to celebrate Singapore’s 50th Anniversary as an independent, strong and vibrant country. During the past five decades, Singapore has established itself as one of the world’s leading economies, and as an investmentfriendly environment with a strong, dedicated population of citizens with a rich cultural diversity. These factors attracted Edwards Lifesciences to Singapore to establish our company’s largest heart valve manufacturing operations. We began modestly in Singapore with 76 employees in a leased facility. However, the support and encouragement we received from the Economic Development Board, Ministry of Manpower, Workforce Development Agency, Employment and

Employability Institute and many other institutions allowed us to establish a biomedical technology footprint in the nation and provided the foundation for us to successfully develop our permanent operations. Today, we proudly have more than 1,200 Edwards employees in our own world-class facility in Singapore. From that site, we now produce the majority of our leading heart valve therapies that are helping patients around the world. We sincerely thank Singapore for their support and congratulate the nation and its fine people on their 50th anniversary. We wish them all the best for continued prosperity and success. Michael A. Mussallem Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Edwards, Edwards Lifesciences, and the stylized E logo are trademarks of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation. ©2015 Edwards Lifesciences Corporation. All rights reserved. ARXXXXX 8

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


TOURISM

At Edwards Lifesciences, helping patients is not a slogan – it’s our life’s work. From developing devices that replace or repair a diseased heart valve to creating new technologies that monitor vital signs of the critically ill, we help ensure that patients regain and even improve their quality of life. Edwards Lifesciences’ goal is to be Singapore’s employer of choice. It’s more than a career, it’s about making a difference.

Edwards Lifesciences (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. | edwards.com 35 Changi North Crescent | Singapore 499641 USA | Switzerland | Japan | China | Brazil | Australia | India

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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CONTENTS

16

CONTENTS THE CHAMBER IN THE LAST 50 YEARS.......................... 16 From its founding in Singapore in 1837 the Chamber has been at the heart of the business community in this country and a constant supporter of Singapore’s post-independence governments.

HOW SINGAPORE CAN MEET ITS DESTINY.................... 18 Singapore can be rightly proud of its first 50 years as an independent state. The future will be challenging, and for Singapore to remain as viable as it is, it must be prepared to meet these challenges with open hearts and minds.

RECAPTURING THE SURVIVAL INSTINCT........................ 26 Cao Haoxiang reflects on how Singaporeans can change their mindsets to becoming successful long into the future.

SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE...................................... 30 For a small – if amazing – city-state, sustainability is far more than a buzzword. It is a reality of Singaporean life, and a focused plan to grow sustainability will be key to its future.

A SNAPSHOT OF SINGAPORE.......................................... 48 A look at some of the key dates and events from Singapore’s first 50 years of independence.

30 QUALITY OF LIFE................................................................ 54 Victor Mills writes about what makes life in Singapore so special, and how we must all work together to sustain its success.

TOTAL DEFENCE DAY ADDRESS...................................... 66 On 13 February 2015, Col Gaurav Keerthi was invited by RI to address the year 5-6 students for assembly in line with Total Defence Day. This is his speech.

SICC INTERVIEW: MRS LEE JU SONG........................ 70 With more than 40 years’ experience in working with the SICC Mrs Lee Ju Song has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the country.

SICC INTERVIEW: MAIDIN BIN PEER MOHAMED............ 72 We could not mark SG50 without celebrating and recognizing our long service staff. One of them is Maidin bin Peer Mohamed who has worked for the Chamber and its members for 44 years.

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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CONTENTS

76

54 102

LEARNING, RE-LEARNING, UNLEARNING....................... 76 Education is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of Singapore life, and with so many opportunities for young people across businesses from every corner of the earth, it will remain a key part of the ongoing development of our young.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: MANUFACTURING........................... 90 The manufacturing sector has changed dramatically throughout the years, adapting and evolving as Singapore changed. Here we look at some of the key eras and milestones of the industry.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: HOSPITALITY AND DINING............. 96

As Singapore evolved through the years from one form of city to another, so too did its hospitality sector. Challenges remain, even as it continues to reflect the changing face of world food.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: PHARMACEUTICALS..................... 100 In many ways, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in Singapore reflects the Singapore success story.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: PETROCHEMICALS....................... 102 Jurong Park, reclaimed from the ocean and completed in 2009, is a great reflection of the importance of the petrochemical industry in Singapore.

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

COMPANY INSIGHTS PHILIPS................................................................................ 28 JTC........................................................................................ 32 AMPERSAND....................................................................... 39 ROBERT BOSCH................................................................. 44 DENIS GROUP..................................................................... 46 ROLLS ROYCE..................................................................... 58 SATS..................................................................................... 60 SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY....................... 62 RODYK & DAVIDSON.......................................................... 74 CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL............................. 84 ESSEC BUSINESS SCHOOL............................................... 86 AIR LIQUIDE......................................................................... 94 MARINA BAY SANDS.......................................................... 98 SHELL................................................................................. 106


The voice of international business in Singapore

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

Mitsubishi Corporation................................ 65 Overseas Family School............................... 80 QBE............................................................IBC Schellenberg Wittmer.................................. 56 Singapore American School......................OBC Singapore Green Building Council.............. 40 Singapore Institute of Technology............... 06 Singapore Management University.............. 23 ST................................................................. 93 Telstra.......................................................... 57


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SICC

THE CHAMBER IN THE LAST 50 YEARS

F

rom its founding in Singapore in 1837 the Chamber has been at the heart of the business community in this country. Its niche as Singapore’s longest serving, wholly independent voice of the private sector is as relevant today as it was 178 years ago. SICC’s mission is simple and unchanged: to represent business interests in the greater interest of ensuring a vibrant economy in Singapore. From representing first mainly British and then wider European business interests up to World War II, SICC represented MNCs predominantly in the first 20 years of independence. Since then the Chamber’s membership has grown much more diverse and more representative of Singapore’s business community today. SICC members represent more than 20 industry sectors, 40 nationalities and are roughly equally split between MNCs and SMEs. This is entirely healthy and this diversity of membership is at the heart of the Chamber’s reinvention of itself in the 21st Century.

14

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

Having started life as a severe critic of the East India Company administration and its successor in the Colonial government, SICC has been a constant supporter of Singapore’s post-independence governments. This is largely because governments since 1965 have understood just how central continued business success is to Singapore’s continued success. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that successive business-friendly governments in the last 50 years have worked and continue to work to build and maintain a vibrant economy. This is because a vibrant economy is a prerequisite for the city-state’s very existence and the livelihood of its citizens and residents. Singapore’s economic miracle in the last 50 years did not happen by chance and is not on auto pilot in 2015. It still needs to be worked on by government, business and workers. This goal is best expressed in and achieved by Singapore’s unique form of tripartism made up of employers, government and workers represented


SICC

by unions. This system has provided both fair employment terms and industrial peace which, in turn, has made possible sustained investor confidence and economic growth. Singapore’s astonishing economic growth in the last 50 years has also been made possible by ensuring Singapore has well-equipped and trained Armed Forces to protect its citizens, residents and the country’s business community. We can all sleep well at night because the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are on guard. The Chamber and its members support the unspoken work of National Service Men (NSMen) by releasing them for duty and by appreciating them and the reasons for it. Indeed, SICC has, on occasion, gone further to demonstrate its commitment to Singapore. In November 1966 the Ministry of Defence asked the Chamber to finance the equipment and training of a girl’s pipe band. This was done in time for 1967’s National Day Parade. More importantly, SICC supported the National Wages Council right at the start because of the value and importance of tripartism to Singapore’s success. There are so many examples of how the Chamber continued to be part of Singapore’s fabric in the years following the country’s independence. It is worth mentioning a few. From making a donation to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s Endowment Fund in 1983 to commissioning a gold CD of orchestral music in 1997. This was to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Chamber and was launched by Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. Again, in the 1990s, SICC recommended to the government that employment for expatriate spouses and children be permitted on the basis it was good for them and for Singapore. The government changed the employment guidelines to allow expatriate spouses and children to work if they so chose. In 1995, the government announced that Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions would no longer be allowed for non-citizens. The Chamber appealed at this loss of tax free savings for expatriate workers. The government responded by delaying implementation and, in 2000, in setting up the Supplementary Retirement Scheme and allowing expatriates to contribute. Medical tests for Employment Pass holders were required but it did not make sense for initial tests to be done in Singapore especially if long distances were involved for potential job candidates. SICC raised this issue with the government which agreed that initial medical tests could be done outside Singapore and all

subsequent ones be completed in Singapore. This is another example of business-friendly policies and a government prepared to listen. Mutually beneficial private dialogue is the order of the day between SICC and the government. SICC was also instrumental in the establishment of the Singapore Institute of Directors and in its early days the Institute’s staff worked out of the Chamber’s office. What about the future of the Chamber? Let me answer that question by an instructive example from SICC’s past. On 6 February 1969, 150 years to the very day, the Chamber held a dinner to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ founding of

This system has provided both fair employment terms and industrial peace which, in turn, has made possible sustained investor confidence and economic growth” Singapore in 1819. The guest of honour was Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It is worth quoting what Mr R G Bennett, Chairman of SICC said: “My Chamber, Sir, wishes to follow you in looking forward rather than back, in planning and working for the future rather than holding on to the easy prizes of the past.” Mr Bennett went on to praise Mr Lee Kuan Yew as Raffles’ successor. Mr Lee commented that he was flattered, if a little apprehensive, at comparisons with Sir Stamford Raffles. Mr Lee went on to say that if in 50 years’ time, Mr Bennett’s successor would be equally fulsome in his praise then it would be an immense satisfaction to him even if he should be in some other world. We all know that Singapore and we are here today because of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his extraordinary team whose leadership is a textbook case of drive, persistence and focus. At the same dinner Mr Lee also spoke about his vision for Singapore’s future: “Our future is what we make of it and we will use to best advantage the factors in our favour.” As usual, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s words were prescient. They are as relevant today as they were in 1969 for both Singapore and for SICC – its longest serving Chamber.

Victor Mills Chief Executive, SICC

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

15


SICC

THE CHAMBER IN THE LAST 50 YEARS

F

rom its founding in Singapore in 1837 the Chamber has been at the heart of the business community in this country. Its niche as Singapore’s longest serving, wholly independent voice of the private sector is as relevant today as it was 178 years ago. SICC’s mission is simple and unchanged: to represent business interests in the greater interest of ensuring a vibrant economy in Singapore. From representing first mainly British and then wider European business interests up to World War II, SICC represented MNCs predominantly in the first 20 years of independence. Since then the Chamber’s membership has grown much more diverse and more representative of Singapore’s business community today. SICC members represent more than 20 industry sectors, 40 nationalities and are roughly

16

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

equally split between MNCs and SMEs. This is entirely healthy and this diversity of membership is at the heart of the Chamber’s reinvention of itself in the 21st Century. Having started life as a severe critic of the East India Company administration and its successor in the Colonial government, SICC has been a constant supporter of Singapore’s post-independence governments. This is largely because governments since 1965 have understood just how central continued business success is to Singapore’s continued success. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that successive business-friendly governments in the last 50 years have worked and continue to work to build and maintain a vibrant economy. This is because a vibrant economy is a prerequisite for the city-state’s very existence and the livelihood of its


SICC

citizens and residents. Singapore’s economic miracle in the last 50 years did not happen by chance and is not on auto pilot in 2015. It still needs to be worked on by government, business and workers. This goal is best expressed in and achieved by Singapore’s unique form of tripartism made up of employers, government and workers represented by unions. This system has provided both fair employment terms and industrial peace which, in turn, has made possible sustained investor confidence and economic growth. Singapore’s astonishing economic growth in the last 50 years has also been made possible by ensuring Singapore has well-equipped and trained Armed Forces to protect its citizens, residents and the country’s business community. We can all sleep well at night because the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are on guard. The Chamber and its members support the unspoken work of National Service Men (NSMen) by releasing them for duty and by appreciating them and the reasons for it. Indeed, SICC has, on occasion, gone further to demonstrate its commitment to Singapore. In November 1966 the Ministry of Defence asked the Chamber to finance the equipment and training of a girl’s pipe band. This was done in time for 1967’s National Day Parade. More importantly, SICC supported the National Wages Council right at the start because of the value and importance of tripartism to Singapore’s success. There are so many examples of how the Chamber continued to be part of Singapore’s fabric in the years following the country’s independence. It is worth mentioning a few. From making a donation to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s Endowment Fund in 1983 to commissioning a gold CD of orchestral music in 1997. This was to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Chamber and was launched by Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. Again, in the 1990s, SICC recommended to the government that employment for expatriate spouses and children be permitted on the basis it was good for them and for Singapore. The government changed the employment guidelines to allow expatriate spouses and children to work if they so chose. In 1995, the government announced that Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions would no longer be allowed for non-citizens. The Chamber appealed at this loss of tax free savings for expatriate workers. The government responded by delaying implementation and, in 2000, in setting up the

Supplementary Retirement Scheme and allowing expatriates to contribute. Medical tests for Employment Pass holders were required but it did not make sense for initial tests to be done in Singapore especially if long distances were involved for potential job candidates. SICC raised this issue with the government which agreed that initial medical tests could be done outside Singapore and all subsequent ones be completed in Singapore. This is another example of business-friendly policies and a government prepared to listen. Mutually beneficial private dialogue is the order of the day between SICC and the government. SICC was also instrumental in the establishment of the Singapore Institute of Directors and in its early days the Institute’s staff worked out of the Chamber’s office. What about the future of the Chamber? Let me answer that question by an instructive example from SICC’s past. On 6 February 1969, 150 years to the very day, the Chamber held a dinner to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ founding of Singapore in 1819. The guest of honour was Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It is worth quoting what Mr R G Bennett, Chairman of SICC said: “My Chamber, Sir, wishes to follow you in looking forward rather than back, in planning and working for the future rather than holding on to the easy prizes of the past.” Mr Bennett went on to praise Mr Lee Kuan Yew as Raffles’ successor. Mr Lee commented that he was flattered, if a little apprehensive, at comparisons with Sir Stamford Raffles. Mr Lee went on to say that if in 50 years’ time, Mr Bennett’s successor would be equally fulsome in his praise then it would be an immense satisfaction to him even if he should be in some other world. We all know that Singapore and we are here today because of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his extraordinary team whose leadership is a textbook case of drive, persistence and focus. At the same dinner Mr Lee also spoke about his vision for Singapore’s future: “Our future is what we make of it and we will use to best advantage the factors in our favour.” As usual, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s words were prescient. They are as relevant today as they were in 1969 for both Singapore and for SICC – its longest serving Chamber.

Victor Mills Chief Executive, SICC

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

17


MEETING THE FUTURE

18

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


MEETING THE FUTURE

HOW SINGAPORE CAN MEET ITS DESTINY As we celebrate our 50th year of independence, we can rightly be proud of the phenomenal growth of our city-state. There have been incredible successes across the board, from manufacturing to transport to hospitality, and today Singapore sits as a jewel of Asia. The future though is challenging, and for Singapore to remain as viable as it is, it must be prepared to meet these challenges with open hearts and minds. By Vishwesh Iyer

B

eginning 2012, Singapore started an unprecedented age shift. As the Baby Boomers turn 65 years old – over 900,000 of them – then 20 per cent of the current citizen population has started retiring from the workforce. As is the case in other developed East Asian urbanised societies like Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Singapore’s declining birth rates are due to rising singlehood, later marriages, and married couples having fewer children. Broader social and economic factors also affect marriage and parenthood decisions. Singapore’s life expectancy, one of the highest in the world, has increased by 10 years over the past three decades: from 72 years in 1980 to 82 years in 2010. With increasing life expectancy and low birth rates, the country faces the prospect of a shrinking and ageing citizen population and workforce. The number of elderly citizens will triple by 2030, and they will be supported by a smaller base of working age citizens. According to the Department of Statistics, there are currently about 6.3 citizens in

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

19


MEETING THE FUTURE

the working-ages of 20 to 64 years, for each citizen aged 65 and above. By 2030, there will only be 2.1 working-age citizens for each citizen aged 65 and above. This is a very real and important issue. PROACTIVE POLICY INTERVENTIONS According to Dr Yap Mui Teng, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, the city-state has been putting in place the foundation of a support system to cope with an ageing population since the 1980s with the Committee on the Problems of the Aged (chaired by then Health Minister Howe Yoon Chong). This was followed by initiatives out of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Ageing in the late 1990s, the Committee on Ageing Issues in the early 2000s, and then the establishment of a Ministerial Committee on Ageing in 2007. The fiscal preparedness can also be seen in the endowment of significant funds by the government for elderly support, including the $2.9 billion ElderCare fund and the Pioneer Generation Package. An ageing population coupled with increased longevity will lead to higher national healthcare and long-term care expenditure for the elderly. Even at current rates of subsidy, the national expenditure on healthcare will rise, given that there will be three

20

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

times the number of citizens aged 65 and above by 2030. With fewer children to support parents and grandparents, and increasing numbers of elderly living alone, more paid help such as domestic workers, home-based caregivers and nurses will also be needed. With the Silver Support Scheme, Workfare Income Supplement and the Public Assistance scheme (under Comcare), Singapore has increasingly closed many of the most glaring gaps in Singapore’s social safety net. Nevertheless, the rapid pace of population ageing in the next 15 years will mean a continued high pace of investments in the nation’s social infrastructure, especially in the areas of intermediate and long-term care, as well as significant focus on human capital development and formation (continuous education and learning at all ages). The SkillsFuture credit is a major step in this direction. THE ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE For society as a whole, a declining old-age support ratio points towards an increasing tax and economic burden on the working-age population. A shrinking and ageing population could also mean a less vibrant and innovative economy. There will be a shrinking customer base in Singapore, and companies may not be able to find adequate

ABOVE: Singapore’s population and human wisdom will be the key to its long-term success.


MEETING THE FUTURE

manpower. Multinational companies may therefore choose not to set up operations in Singapore, and Singapore-based businesses may downsize, close down or relocate. As a result, there could be slower business activity and fewer career options that will match the higher aspirations of Singaporeans. With an increasingly educated and mobile population, many of the young people could choose to leave for other exciting global cities, hollowing out the population and workforce, and worsening the oldage support ratio. Singapore is a small island state (lacking natural resources apart from its people) in a fast-developing region; it cannot reverse its strategy of remaining open to the opportunities and growth potential of the region. By harnessing its many natural economic, cultural and diplomatic linkages, Singapore can tap into the dynamic energy of its neighbours and build on the networks cultivated as the country has become a commercial and cultural hub. The source of Singapore’s long-term competitive advantage may be found in the accumulated human capital and wisdom of a population that, whilst ageing rapidly, retains its adaptability and flexibility through constant upgrading and re-tooling. ESSENCE OF SINGAPOREAN(ISM) Singapore has long been an immigrant society, and Singapore is today multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious as a result of various waves of in-migration over the years. Immigrants have not been required to assimilate into the society (as immigrants to countries such as Thailand and Indonesia have done) so much as integrate. New

By harnessing its natural economic, cultural and diplomatic linkages, Singapore can tap into the energy of its neighbours”

immigrants are expected to have a sense of a shared future with other Singaporeans, with pride in national values and respect for the country’s laws and norms, but are not expected to give up their heritage or renounce their history prior to coming to Singapore. “A too-rapid pace of in-migration can lead to the emergence of relatively insular immigrant communities, slowing or even countering necessary societal integration and the adoption of local norms and practices amongst new immigrants,” says Christopher Gee, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore. A nuanced immigration policy that is sensitive to the pace of integration of new immigrants into local communities is therefore necessary to balance the benefits and dynamism that immigrants bring with a measured development of Singapore’s national identity. POLITICS – WHAT IS THE BEST POLITICAL MODEL FOR A VIBRANT CITY STATE? The 2011 elections to Singapore’s parliament were a watershed in the sense that the threshold of having an opposition team take a Group Representation Constituency (Aljunied GRC) was broken. This had never happened before. The governing People’s Action Party (PAP) was returned to power, but with the lowest popular vote ever of 60.1 per cent.

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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MEETING THE FUTURE

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It is understood to have come from unhappiness about with policy issues related to population which includes the question of managing cost of living in Singapore, and negative reactions to specific comments made by PAP stalwarts in the heat of the campaign. However, the significant shift in the election was also very much a result of the specific strategy adopted by the opposition Workers’ Party in contesting the GRC in the first place. “The question of whether the 2011 results were an aberration will depend on the electoral strategies and readiness of the opposition parties in Singapore and the way that they interpret the policy challenges facing the country at the time so as to move the ground towards them,” says Dr Gillian Koh, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

are recognised as being sincere and empathetic in serving the needs of Singaporeans, it is likely to continue to have a majority mandate. On the other hand, despite its strengthened representation in parliament, the opposition Workers’ Party has largely proved ineffectual. The Workers’ Party has publicly stated that it will confine itself to the role of providing a check and balance to the PAP’s dominant power and not operate as a government-in-waiting. Unless there is a change in that approach, one is not likely to see a complete flip to a different party being in power. And that too will depend on if the opposition parties are deemed to present credible candidates who will not only offer a diversity of views in parliament, but can also effectively manage local town councils and address the well being of constituents.

RECAST OF PAP Following its poor showing at the 2011 general elections, the ruling PAP has been recasting itself as being more responsive to the people and investing in social policies to make its platform more ‘peoplecentric’. Various education, healthcare, housing, retirement, immigration and labour policies have been tweaked or are under review. If opinions on popular social media platforms are anything to go by, the PAP’s relentless campaign to overhaul its image has been a mixed success. But so long as the PAP maintains a record of good governance, and provides a slate of leaders who

MANAGING PEOPLE’S ASPIRATIONS There is a firm belief that populism is the real threat as it throws up weak leaders with no normative vision. What Singapore needs is confident leadership that can accept feedback from the grassroots and offer a vision to the people and develop a plan to realise the collective aspirations of Singaporeans. The country needs confident people who have realistic expectations about what the government can do and not expect the government to provide the solution to all their needs. The secular character of Singapore that embraces the role of religion as a

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


MEETING THE FUTURE

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MEETING THE FUTURE

ABOVE: Jurong Island

matter of personal choice further helps build on the shared secular beliefs and aspirations. After all, in a small city state the concept of one nation, one people is the primary driving force, and so long as that is protected and nurtured, the Little Red Dot will continue to thrive and surprise the world. SYSTEM THAT WORKS The ideal political system is one that reflects the enormous social diversity of the Singaporean society. This means that there have to be structures in place to deter the emergence of sectarian politics; it should also evolve to be a system which incorporates a very lively professional ‘free press’ that informs citizens well about the policy issues and choices that face the country and provides good comparative information about what is happening elsewhere in the world. There has to be an ongoing system of engaging citizens to become more informed and also allowing them to participate in policy discussions and even the co-creation of policies and programmes with the duly elected government of the day, to make Singapore an inclusive, thriving city-state. Finally, it must have ongoing robust state institutions that ensure that Singapore has strong and good governance – that integrity, efficiency, effectiveness and social development remain core values that drive Singapore’s public service. As Dr Gillian Koh of NUS aptly sums up: “There is much more to a political system than just the running for the general elections.” THE LITTLE RED DOT THAT PUNCHES ABOVE ITS WEIGHT “If Singapore depends on the talent it can produce

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out of three million people, it’s not going to punch above its weight. It is because we’ve drawn talent from across the globe that we have a vibrant economy which is way beyond what three million Singaporeans and the talent they produce can do... So you’ve got to accept the discomfort which the local citizens feel that they are competing unequally for jobs; cannot be helped.” These were the words of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and father of modern day Singapore while addressing the South Asian Diaspora Convention in 2011. For a city-state with a mere five million residents and 700 square kilometres of land, its economic production, security position and political leadership in South East Asia are remarkable. Singapore’s significance is also demonstrated by the time and attention it has received from great powers, including the US and China. Singapore has always made it a point to punch above its weight. Economic success has long been considered crucial to the survival of the Singaporean state. One of the Asian Tigers – and considered an economic miracle by many – Singapore went from a ‘third world country to a first world nation’ in one generation. LITTLE RED DOT The ‘Little Red Dot’ phrase comes from former Indonesian President BJ Habibie’s remark during the Asian Financial Crisis, claiming that the nongreen (i.e. non-Muslim Malay) state of Singapore was neither a friend nor of significance to him. Months later, Habibie’s Indonesia faltered and was forced to seek help from the Little Red Dot of Singapore, among others, and the well-capitalised island nation agreed. Pragmatism is the virtue that guides Singapore’s foreign policy making. From its days as a new state in the 1960s, keeping the Little Red Dot on the map has been the priority. Within the domestic context, social cohesion, conscientious public service, and a first world quality of life have been avenues through which the Singapore government has sought to achieve stability. Externally, maintaining close and fruitful relationships with major – as well as minor and middle – powers has similarly been part of its Total Defence strategy. The rise of China and India in its area of influence have been viewed by Singapore as an opportunity to be a regional hub for investment flows and as a driver of economic attention to the region.


MEETING THE FUTURE

However, Singapore also works at maintaining its distinct identity and has been diversifying its economic and security interests, particularly through its encouragement of an American presence in the South China Sea. The US-Singapore relationship is long established and positive across economic, military, and diplomatic spheres.

Pragmatism is the virtue that guides Singapore’s foreign policy making. From its days as a new state in the 1960s, keeping the Little Red Dot on the map has been the priority”

RISE OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL HUB Singapore’s business-friendly government policies are often credited with the island’s success. The origins of the country’s economic achievements lie much deeper and date back to the time when British East India Company established it as a major port. However, to the credit of the ruling People’s Action Party and the founding fathers of the city-state, they have been able to have a very pragmatic view of the economic growth since independence in 1965. As economic historian W.G. Huff writes in The Economic Growth of Singapore, the PAP coordinated with Dr Winsemius’ UN Technical Assistance team to embrace an aggressive development strategy, pairing a hands-off approach to regulation with a hands-on approach to recruiting foreign corporations. “The Singaporean model,” Huff writes, “carries the lesson that an extensive role for the government can be combined with free trade.” Rather than shun foreign capital, Singapore welcomed it with tax concessions and temporary import tariffs. The plan was simple: foreign firms would bring capital, technology and skills, and Singaporeans would learn. Eventually, they replicated the business practices brought to Singapore by foreign companies. Even today, Singapore is the most sought after Asia Pacific city for multinational corporations when it comes to headquartering their regional offices. In the period 2011-2015, the Singapore government also pledged to invest S$16.1 billion in research, investment and enterprise. The outcome of such investments, such as the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, are often in conjunction with top research universities such as the publicly funded National University of Singapore. Perhaps most excitingly, the culture of entrepreneurship is seizing the imagination of a rising generation. More and more of Singapore’s young population say they have plans to start their own business. Singapore’s burgeoning culture of entrepreneurship – augmented by geographical advantage, and decades of careful government planning in the making – is likely to continue to surpass expectations.

PROACTIVE GOVERNMENT In wooing technology firms and inspiring the entrepreneurs tasked with turning Singapore into an Asian innovation hub, the government has relied on strategies similar to those that brought the first foreign corporations to the newly independent citystate in the 1960s. Presenting his annual budget in Parliament on February 23, 2015, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugharatnam identified the five growth clusters of the future for Singapore. These include Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Health Sciences, Smart and Sustainable Urban Solutions, Logistics and Aerospace and Asian & Global Financial Services. “These are areas in growing demand, and also the fields in which Singapore can develop advanced capabilities and excel,” said Mr Tharman. “Singapore is well-positioned to be amongst the leaders in Asia and globally in these five clusters,” he added. Nothing can better describe the Singaporean spirit than Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s public statement in 2009: “We are a little red dot but we are a special red dot. We are connected with the world, we play a special role. And we are not going to be in anybody’s pocket.” 

BELOW: Changi Airport

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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OPINION

RECAPTURING A THE SURVIVAL INSTINCT

26 SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

friend once complained to me, having just read an alternative viewpoint on a macroeconomic topic that she disagreed with: “I don’t understand why people go against consensus!” I thought that remark telling. Growing up, we were taught that there was only one right answer to every question. In a country and city that is supposedly cosmopolitan and international, we hold on to certain thoughts that we cherish as true, because everyone we talked to said so. Why do we stick so stubbornly to beliefs which might be inaccurate? The phenomenon has its roots not just in our education system and its reliance on rote-learning for tests, but in other areas. In religion, we speak of dogma, core principles and doctrines. In science, we sometimes do not probe deeply enough into the assumptions behind a topic, forgetting that its laws and theories only hold until they are proven wrong. And in politics, we are constantly bombarded by pronouncements by men of authority on current affairs and historical matters. Our minds, thus constrained, do not wander far enough. Perhaps we feel more comfortable living in a world of black and white. Perhaps we all suffer from psychological biases that cause us to be slow to change prior beliefs in the light of new information. The confirmation bias, for example, is a phenomenon of the mind where we tend to seek out and place more weight on information we agree with. In stock trading, the anchoring bias causes us to take a reference point from our last “buy” or “sell” prices and place undue emphasis on an arbitrary number without evaluating new information properly. We blame our education system for not encouraging creativity among the young. We blame our business environment for being too stifling and our bankruptcy laws too strict, our rents too high, in preventing entrepreneurs from succeeding. We blame our political leaders for imposing too strict a regime over our freedoms of expression.


OPINION

Ultimately, people who can think in an unconventional way and who know how to go out there to market their relevance to the world will survive when changes come.”

But we don’t blame ourselves for being too set in our ways. We should all be thinkers, leaders and educators in our own right, if not in business, at least in our personal lives. We have children to bring up. We have colleagues to mentor. And we have friends to counsel. Singapore, like many developed cities and more so than many others, has solved much of the pressing problems facing modern humankind: access to clean water, electricity, cheap food and housing, and adequate healthcare and education. But a problem that arises when people get too comfortable with their lives is that the capacity for lively thinking, the sort that accompanies desperate struggles for survival, tends to disappear. To ensure we continue to do well in life, one thing we should strive for is not to be conventional. Many Singaporeans don’t wander beyond their comfort zones of family and friends. They might study abroad, but they only mix with their fellow Singaporeans when they’re there and stick to the same group of friends when they’re back. Some are too sheltered. I hear of teenagers who are still driven around by their parents everywhere they go. Others have worked for many years but have still not travelled overseas by themselves. By only staying close to what makes them comfortable, people miss out on

much of life. At the extremes, religious fundamentalism and xenophobia take root. These are ways of thinking and living ill-suited to the globalised world Singapore is part of. A lack of critical thinking and healthy scepticism about the world is also the result. This will hamper us when we try to solve the political and business problems we face, which tend not to have textbook solutions. In the markets, at the very least, unconventional thinking can make you money. The second thing we should strive for is to have a thick skin. Talk to any entrepreneur on why they succeeded, and one thing that often crops up is how they were persistent and did not give up. They kept knocking on doors. They faced naysayers down. They knew how to sell things. But we are sometimes afraid to go out there to sell. Picking up the phone and cold-calling people does not come naturally to us. To make ourselves relevant in the world, we need to continuously step out of our skin and market our strengths. Another aspect of having a thick skin is to be able to tolerate criticism. In our work and personal lives, we might encounter people who think we are not good enough. Yet some people wilt too easily when they get put down, either by a superior, an observer, or by life. Too sensitive to what other people say, they

begin to doubt themselves, or be afraid to voice their own thoughts. The final thing that we can do as parents and leaders is to avoid fostering closed environments. Communities which are not open to change from the outside and the inside tend to breed conventional people with thin skins. If the urge to conform is strong and power dynamics do not favour changes to existing hierarchies, people will not dare to be different. They will also not be motivated to change things, because the gains from change are outweighed by the punishment incurred by stepping out of line. But closed environments will struggle to adapt in the modern world. Changes, for good or worse, are coming faster. Ultimately, people who can think in an unconventional way and who know how to go out there to market their relevance to the world will survive when changes come. Moving outside our comfort zone will give us a wider perspective of life and our place in it. We will easily learn how struggles for a more expensive house or bigger car are laughable. We will learn how some squabbles and machinations are quite petty. Figure out how to build a thick skin, and attendant values of hard work, resilience and perseverance will come. Armed with a new way of living, we can survive better. 

Cao Haoxiang is a journalist with Singapore’s daily business newspaper The Business Times.

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COMPANY INSIGHT

PHILIPS

GROWING WITH SINGAPORE, FROM LOW-TECH MANUFACTURING TO SMART NATION

W

hen Philips’ ASEAN and Pacific CEO Harjit Gill first moved from the Netherlands to Singapore in 1993, Singapore was on the cusp of an economic transformation. Faced with stiff competition from lower-cost manufacturing centres in the region, Singapore – which had become one of the world’s largest electronics makers – had to move up the value chain and intensify the use of technology. Singapore’s Economic Development Board led the country’s shift from labour-intensive, lowend manufacturing to high tech, capital-intensive industries such as the chemical, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. The transformation continues today, as Singapore charts its economic journey for the next 50 years by focusing on research and development (R&D) and innovation. In many ways, the growth of Philips, a Dutch company well known to many Singaporeans for its consumer electronics products and lighting systems, mirrors Singapore’s economic growth. Its iconic factories in Toa Payoh and multicultural workforce have also formed a part of Singapore’s industrial landscape and heritage. From a small trading office with just four employees in 1951, Philips Singapore has grown to become one of the company’s largest manufacturing

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centres, employing thousands of workers who made 70 per cent of Philips radio tuners sold globally by the 1970s. To many former Singapore employees, Philips was also a window to the world, shipping consumer products to places as far as South America. By the 1980s, Singapore had become a nexus for Philips’ global product development. And by the 1990s, when Ms Gill started out at Philips Singapore as a regional marketing manager, the electronics powerhouse began shoring up its Singapore operations with design, product development and high-value manufacturing capabilities. Today, Singapore, with its digital capabilities, range of test-bedding platforms, well-connected infrastructure and economic stability, plays a vital role as Philips’ regional headquarters in the AsiaPacific region. By 2016, Philips will bolster its innovation capabilities with a new regional headquarters to fuel its growth ambitions through health tech and sustainable lighting solutions – in line with Singapore’s ambition to become the world’s first Smart Nation. Unveiled in November 2014, Singapore’s Smart Nation vision looks at ways to improve the lives of


Photos: www.philips.com/newscenter.

PHILIPS

Singaporeans through technology and data-driven initiatives such as telehealth, which has been earmarked as one of Philips’ core businesses. Ms Gill says: “At Philips, we aim to help reshape and optimise population health management by leveraging big data and delivering care from hospital to home. We see lots of opportunities to tap into the ecosystem of public and private companies in Singapore to collaborate and co-create locally relevant innovations that address people’s needs and solve societal challenges, such as healthcare for an ageing population.” But the company, which has employed over 30,000 people in the last 60 years, is not tackling these challenges alone. A key part of Philips’ strategy is to work with partners through open innovation and collaboration projects. In the Netherlands, for example, it already hosts some 135 companies and institutions at a shared R&D facility. In Singapore, Philips continues to break new ground through collaborative projects, such as its partnership with Eastern Health Alliance and Changi General Hospital to pilot Singapore's first telehealth programme for heart failure patients. Besides monitoring the health of patients remotely, this innovative programme also provides care and support through caregivers from the Eastern Health Alliance’s Health Management Unit. These efforts will go a long way to care for heart failure patients and reduce their risk of hospitalisation and premature death. On such partnerships, Ms Gill says: “Singapore continues to be a key regional innovation hub for Philips. Over the years, it has built strong capabilities and an ecosystem that supports open innovation. This is important as no one company has the solution to solve the complex challenges we face today, especially in healthcare where there are many stakeholders in the care cycle.” Philips’ new regional headquarters, a critical node in its global innovation network, will also house a telehealth centre that lets hospitals remotely monitor and treat patients at home, with the aim of offering them better quality of life and lowering treatment costs by reducing the need for hospitalisation. Mr Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Philips, says, “Singapore is a vital innovation hub in the region for Philips. Functioning as the regional headquarters, this new facility underlines Philips' commitment to the region and most importantly, will drive our innovation particularly in healthcare”. Not to be left out is Philips’ globally renowned lighting systems, which are used to light up a growing list of Singapore landmarks such as the Singapore

COMPANY INSIGHT

Philips continues to break new ground through collaborative projects, such as its partnership with Eastern Health Alliance”

Flyer, Night Safari and Singapore Turf Club, just to name a few. When a lighting experience centre at Philips’ new regional headquarters is ready, Singapore will also be one of the first Philips locations in the world to have connected lighting. Of course, Philips’ stellar achievements in Singapore would not have been possible without the country’s highly-skilled talent from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, which have been critical to the company as it transforms and grows together with Singapore. Says Ms Gill: “This growth will help us respond to the region’s top societal challenges, such as urbanisation, ageing populations and the rise of chronic diseases”. Throughout history, Philips has spared no effort to break away from its origins. While it invented the music CD and audio cassette, it divested those businesses as more profitable ventures came along with technological progress. Last year, Philips announced its decision to create two market-leading companies focussed on health tech and lighting solutions opportunities, as part of efforts to reinvent itself. After the split, both companies will continue using the Philips brand. “Great companies need to reinvent themselves, we can do that, we can stay relevant, we can grow and we can stay successful. It takes courage but it’s a path we’ve been preparing for carefully,” says Mr van Houten. 

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SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE:

HOLDING UP A MIRROR TO THE WORLD 30

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SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

For a small – if amazing – citystate, sustainability is far more than a buzzword. It is a reality of Singaporean life, and a focussed plan to grow sustainability will be key to its future. By Manoj Aravindakshan.

A

s Singapore celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence, the country can take immense pride in its rapid transformation from a humble fishing village to the modern, first-world city it is today. What is particularly remarkable is that this amazing transformation has happened despite its inherent limitations of size and availability of natural resources. Not only has The Little Red Dot – an adoring and self-deprecating reference to the country’s physical size on the world map – overcome serious existential challenges in the early years following its breakaway from Malaysia but has also shown itself as a shining example of nation development. The Singapore story – from third world to the first – is the tale of an unfinished journey from survival to sustainability, one that the city-state pursues relentlessly with unflinching commitment and great vigour. The first seeds to make Singapore the Garden City that it is today were sown by the country’s founding father, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew back in 1963, as he believed that “we need the greenery of nature to lift our spirits.” Since its very inception as an independent country, densely-populated Singapore has been at the leading edge of promoting excellence in urban planning and management. When combined with a highly-evolved and efficient governance and a steady focus on continuous innovation in the use of both technology and commercial models, the result is a city that’s achieved enviable success. Singapore has consistently fared very highly against the parameters that characterise great cities: liveability, vibrancy, sustainability and quality of life. The vast expanses of greenery that envelope high-rises all across Singapore is the outcome of a continuous effort from the outset to ‘go green’. Today, the city can boast of its water and energy capacity to meet industrial, commercial and residential needs. Its public transport system is one

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COMPANY INSIGHT

JTC

JTC: SUPPORTING ENTERPRISES WITH INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL LAND AND SPACE SOLUTIONS

J

TC Corporation (JTC) is the lead government agency responsible for the development of industrial infrastructure to support and catalyse the growth of industries and enterprises in Singapore. Landmark projects by JTC include the Jurong Industrial Estate; the Jurong Island for energy and chemical industries; business and specialised parks such as Airport Logistics Park of Singapore, International Business Park, Changi Business Park, Seletar Aerospace Park, CleanTech Park and Tuas Biomedical Park; a new work-live-play-learn development called one-north; and the Jurong Rock Caverns, Southeast Asia’s first commercial underground storage facility for liquid hydrocarbons. JTC also develops next generation industrial facilities such as JTC Surface Engineering Hub @ Tanjong Kling, JTC MedTech One @ MedTech Hub and JTC Food Hub @ Senoko, which incorporate innovative features and shared infrastructure to enable industrialists to start their operations quickly and enhance productivity. Some of JTC’s latest developments to support industries and enterprises in Singapore are: SELETAR AEROSPACE PARK Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP) spans 320 hectares of purpose-built land and infrastructure, including the Seletar Airport. The integrated aerospace park is home to 45 companies engaged in a wide range of activities including maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircrafts and components, manufacturing and assembly of aircraft engines and components, business and general aviation, and training and research & development (R&D). Companies at the SAP stand to benefit from economies of scale and increased

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efficiency. The park’s shared infrastructure and close proximity to suppliers, customers and partners within a tightknit aerospace business community also give a significant boost for new industry collaborations. Following the good response to the ready-built facilities at JTC Aviation One and JTC aeroSpace, JTC is developing the 11-storey JTC Aviation Two to provide more space for companies specialising in parts supply management and MRO of aircraft components. It is also expanding JTC aeroSpace by adding another seven land-based factories to complement the existing eight units.

The park’s shared infrastructure and proximity to suppliers, customers and partners give a significant boost for new industry collaborations”

TUAS BIOMEDICAL PARK Tuas Biomedical Park is a world-class manufacturing hub, hosting process development and manufacturing operations of major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies. Located at the western tip of Singapore, the 280-hectare park is home to leading global biomedical companies which have invested in commercial-scale facilities in Singapore. JTC BioMed One is an eight-storey facility that will serve as an epicentre for the biomedical community with a vendors’ hub for service providers, as well as shared facilities and amenities for the community. The facility will be a naturally ventilated, multi-tenanted B2 industrial building.

MEDTECH HUB Located at the gateway of Tukang Innovation Park, the 7.4-hectare MedTech Hub is Singapore’s first dedicated development for the medical technology industry and is set to host an integrated ecosystem of local and international medtech companies. The nine-storey multi-tenanted JTC MedTech One is the first building in MedTech Hub. Offering 38,000 sqm of core and shell space, the building will house medical device manufacturers, suppliers and service providers under one roof. It also offers shared services like sterilisation, and warehousing and logistics services to support the industry. CLEANTECH PARK CleanTech Park (CTP) is Singapore’s first eco-business park, which provides a conducive environment and strong base for forward-looking corporations that embrace clean technology and environmental sustainability. The park also provides a platform for industry to test-bed and showcase building and estate-level solutions. JTC CleanTech One @ CTP is the first multi-tenanted building in the park. The iconic building provides specialised business park, and laboratory and office space for key local and international clean technology R&D companies. So far, more than 80% of the 37,500 sqm space has been taken up by clean technology companies and research institutes. JTC CleanTech Two @ CTP is specially designed to support heavy R&D, prototyping and remanufacturing activities. Located next to JTC CleanTech One, the six-storey building offers 22,300 sqm of laboratory and workshop space, and office units, and has an occupancy rate of more than 60%.


JTC

COMPANY INSIGHT

JTC CleanTech One

INNOVATIVE READY-BUILT FACILITIES To help industrialists increase their productivity, improve operational efficiency and reduce their operating costs, JTC is rolling out next-generation industrial facilities to meet the needs of specialised clusters like chemicals, food and surface engineering. Some of these facilities come with shared infrastructure and services to support companies’ operations, reduce their business costs and enhance their competitiveness. JTC Surface Engineering Hub – This is a first-ofits-kind multi-tenanted industrial development in Singapore to integrate the entire value chain of companies within the surface engineering industry. The project comes with a centralised wastewater treatment plant to enable companies to save upfront and operational costs, and swiftly start their operations. It has 63 units with a total gross floor area of 27,000 sqm. JTC Space @ Tanjong Kling – This next-generation standard factory development located at Buroh Street is specially developed to help companies reduce business costs and improve land productivity. With three levels of manufacturing space, companies can now operate on a smaller footprint, thereby reducing the land area needed. The development’s unique feature is its structural provisions which provide flexibility for companies to install their preferred choice of materials handling systems that best cater to their operational needs. JTC Space @ Tampines North – This development is designed to be future-ready with vibration-sensitive space to meet the needs of new and emerging industries. The building comes with high technical specifications, such as higher floor loading and ceiling height, and wider corridor space to meet the needs of companies in heavier manufacturing activities. Targeted for completion by 2016, the development leverages passive design for natural ventilation and lighting to reduce energy use and cost. JTC Chemicals Hub @ Tuas View – This development will come with safety-compliant features, such as enhanced fire protection systems to facilitate safe handling of chemicals, and shared facilities, such as fire-water retention tanks and a centralised foam system. These features will provide companies with a plug-and-play environment, reduce their upfront capital investments and shorten their set-up time.

The hub, which comprises a three-storey production block and a five-storey annex block for R&D activities and ancillary offices, has a gross floor area of 26,000 sqm. The development is targeted for completion by 2016. JTC Food Hub @ Senoko – This project offers food companies the competitive advantage with a shared integrated cold room cum warehouse. This shared facility enables them to transform their supply chain practices and facilitate productivity improvements through the aggregation of demand for delivery services. Companies can also lower their capital investment, enjoy better economies of scale and lower their cost of operations. The development is targeted for completion by 2017. JTC nanoSpace @ Tampines – This innovative readybuilt facility is customised for the semiconductor industry. It enables companies to set up quickly with small production units and scale up their manufacturing capacities in the future. The multitenanted, four-storey development comes with high performance specifications including floor vibration criteria of VC-B, and centralised common utilities such as bulk gases and chilled water, as well as space for specialty chemical storage and waste water treatment plants. The facility will be completed in 2017. 

For more information on JTC and its products and services, please visit www.jtc.gov.sg

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

of the smoothest in the world and its residents get to breathe clean air, surrounded by greenery and waterways. Not surprisingly, Singapore is the bestperforming city in the Asian region when measured against a range of sustainability criteria, according to the Green City Index, a project conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Siemens. OVERCOMING INHERENT CHALLENGES Singapore’s fundamental challenges at the time of its independence persist today: small size, with limited land, water and other natural resources. The dense and growing population (albeit, slower than what the country ideally would like to in order to maintain its thriving economy) continues to put considerable stress on the city’s limited resources and its environment. The consequence of the country’s growth is a continual increase in demand and the competition for scarce resources. As an import-dependent country – even for most of its basics such as food and water – Singapore has to contend with any potential disruptions to imports. Doing more with less, resource conservation and efficient use are thus an absolute imperative for the country. Like any progressive and forward-looking country, Singapore faces – and takes on – the challenge of environmental degradation pollution and climate change very seriously. The country has been very clear that economic growth and environmentfriendliness are not two mutually-exclusive objectives; rather, sustainable growth can be achieved only when these two go hand-in-hand. As a result, Singapore has used the following three drivers to fuel its development 1. Be efficient – Develop using less resources and generate less waste. 2. Be clean – Develop without polluting the environment. 3. Be green – Develop while preserving greenery, waterways and natural heritage.

of over 130 companies and 26 research centres, the vision of becoming the global hydrohub is very close to reality. Singapore’s success in addressing its water challenges, with very little natural water sources, makes it a global example for effective and efficient water management. The city now has diversified and sustainable sources of meeting its water requirements through its Four National Taps: water from local catchment areas, imported water, NEWATER, reclaimed water and desalinated water. One of the select few countries to harvest urban storm water on a large scale, the country has already successfully increased its water catchment area to almost two-thirds of its land surface. The long-term goal is to take this figure to an astonishing 90%. Noteworthy as this seems to be, nothing illustrates Singapore’s success in water sustainability than its ability to recycle and desalinate water. Almost 30% of the country’s current water needs can be met by NEWater, a high-grade reclaimed water that is produced from treated used water after extreme purification with the use of advanced membrane technologies and ultraviolet disinfection. Among other uses, this water is being used by semiconductor wafer fabs, which require water of greater purity than that required for drinking. Four NEWater plants currently supply reclaimed water; Singapore expects to increase this capacity such that by 2060, up to 55% of the city’s water demands can be met by NEWater.

FOUR ‘NATIONAL TAPS’ THE KEY TO WATER SUSTAINABILITY Almost a decade ago, Singapore had identified water and environmental technologies as a growth sector. The Environment and Water Programme Office (EWI), an inter-agency body led by the country’s water agency, the PUB, is leading concerted efforts to transform the country into a global hydrohub. With almost half a billion dollars committed to R&D in the water sector and a cluster

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS 35


SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

Singapore can also proudly stake claim to be the home for Asia’s largest seawater reverse-osmosis plant. The two desalination plants in Singapore have a total capacity of about 100 million gallons of water per day that can meet almost a quarter of the country’s current water demand. In addition to ensuring an adequate supply of water, Singapore is actively pursuing a water conservation strategy. These efforts have already lowered the per capita domestic water consumption from about 165 litres per day in 2003 to 151 litres now, with a goal to lower this to 140 litres per day by 2030. Singapore continues to invest in and develop its competencies in water-related technologies. For example, in May this year, the PUB entered into a collaborative agreement with French company Suez Environment to collaborate on research into waste water treatment, storm water management and automated meter reading. Besides working on creating a smart water grid, the two entities will also carry out a pilot project to develop an energy efficient waste water treatment process. Singapore demonstrates its leadership in the area of water sustainability and water treatment technologies by hosting the biennial Singapore International Water Week, which is among the most important events in the international calendar in this realm. The event seeks to ‘share and co-create innovative water solutions’ and brings together the

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

top technologists and leaders in the water sector sector from around the world. THE “GREEN MANTRA” IN PUBLIC HOUSING The Housing Development Board (HDB), whose over 1 million flats spread over 26 towns and estates house the majority of Singapore’s population, is attempting to test-bed smart technologies to usher in a new generation of public housing. As the HDB looks to ‘build future homes for better living’, sustainability and greenery have been inextricably ingrained in the organisation. Clearly ‘Green’ is the beacon that will guide it forward in its quest to create green flats, green neighbourhoods and green communities. In fact, the HDB Greenprint provides an integrated framework of goals and strategies for creating sustainable homes and greener towns. This includes numerous initiatives to better manage waste, conserve energy and use clean energy where possible. Waste collection: Automating waste collection from residential estates with the use of the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS) is an important means to address both the environmental and sanitary issues related to open waste collection. Using underground pipes and vacuum to transport waste to sealed containers not only provides a better living environment for residents but also results in reduced manpower requirements and higher productivity.


SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

Energy conservation: The HDB has already installed several Mega Watt Peak (MWp) of solar photovoltaic systems in different localities across the city. Such systems convert natural sunlight into solar power which is then harnessed to power lifts, corridor and staircase lighting and water pumps. Fuel cell technology is also being tried out to generate clean energy to power the common areas in HDB’s residential estates. Similarly, the Elevator Energy Regeneration System (EERS) helps recover almost 20% of the energy consumed by a lift without affecting its operation. Another key initiative in its energy conservation drive is to progressively replace the current outdoor street lights with LED lights. It is estimated that such a replacement, island-wide, could result in almost a 70% reduction in energy consumption compared to current levels. Private-public participation: With its Green Homes Package, the HDB helps residents get access to energy-efficient products from private suppliers of products like refrigerators, air conditioners and lighting systems at discounts. FOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY Singapore’s heavy reliance on food imports – Malaysia, China, US and Australia being the top sources for fruits and vegetables – poses a big challenge for the country. Only about a tenth of Singapore’s food requirements are produced locally. Apart from eggs, where Singapore is able to produce about 26% of the current consumption, the city’s fish and vegetable farms contribute modestly to meeting local demand. Disruptions to food supply, volatility in food prices or food safety challenges overseas caused due to outbreaks of spreadable diseases such as bird flu, for example, are serious issues that the city has to be well prepared for. The Food Security Roadmap, unveiled some time ago by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore, outlines the strategies (categorised as ‘core’, ‘supporting’ and ‘enabling’) that the government intends to pursue for both food supply resilience and food safety. Chief among the core strategies is Singapore’s continuous efforts to diversify its food sources. Regular sourcing trips, led and facilitated by the AVA, for local food suppliers to potential new source countries play an important role in this direction. Another smart initiative is to move ‘upstream’

Singapore can proudly stake claim to be the home for Asia’s largest seawater reverse-osmosis plant. The two plants in Singapore has a capacity of 100 million gallons”

through contract farming in other countries in order to secure food at source. For example, Singapore has invested in a Food Zone in Jilin in North East China, which could become a reliable source for meat products. The country is also emphasising boosting local production of food, especially those that are not as limited by land availability. To stimulate higher local food production and productivity in the sector, the AVA offers the Food Fund for companies, besides working closely with them in R&D and capability development. As of October 2013, about S$20 million of the Food Fund had already been spent, which resulted in increased local production of fish and vegetables by 550 tonnes and 360 tonnes, respectively. Local production efforts got another boost in August 2014, with the announcement of a S$63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF). This Fund is designed to help provide local farmers with funding support to expand production capabilities and invest in innovative, transformational farming systems, equipment and infrastructure. Singapore’s efforts in improving its food security are bearing fruit, as can be seen from the most recent Global Food Security Index (GFSI) released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Singapore ranked 5th in the world in 2014 out of the 109 countries that are tracked as part of the index, a jump of 11 places from its position in 2013. The GFSI, based on tracking the food security levels around the world, measures availability, affordability and quality and safety of food. RECYCLING OF FOOD WASTE Over 788,000 tonnes of food is thrown away in a year in Singapore – a figure that has risen by almost 50% in a decade. With only about 13% of the food waste being recycled currently, the Government is taking important steps to capitalise on the significant opportunity in this area. Singapore is commencing two 2-year pilot projects with the aim of encouraging the wider population to recycle their food waste. Launched by the Second Minister for Environment and Continued on page 41 ➤ SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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AMPERSAND

COMPANY INSIGHT

THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKPLACE STRATEGY T

here isn’t a one size fits all workplace strategy in the corporate world. Emphasis on productivity has always been a number one factor in Singapore, yet the workplace environment has always been the most overlooked aspect and not much thought is put into the decision of an office design. With the high real estate cost in Singapore, many companies are looking at ways to reduce real estate and facilities costs. Innovative ways to transform major cost centres (human talent and real estate) to a profit centre are often explored. To aid this transformation, Ampersand strategise the physical workplace by creating a work environment for talents to perform at their peak. There are mainly two work modes – independent or collaborative – hence the need for proper planning to create zones for such tasks. With an increase in preference of our workforce working collaboratively, Ampersand looks at this trend to continuously change the way the workforce works. A common problem companies have been facing has been talent attraction and retention. Studies have been done that show a well-designed office tends to be the easiest and most cost-effective way of turning such cost centres into a profit centre. By providing a smart and worker-focussed design, the company starts to establish a brand and culture that automatically attract and retain the best talents in Singapore. A CHALLENGING PROBLEM THAT REQUIRES A CHANGE ON HOW BUSINESSES WORK. Factoring in that by 2020 the majority of our workforce will be the tech savvy millennials, companies are encouraged to change the way they work traditionally. The need to create organisational flexibility and agile working, the need to improve our communication and collaboration, the need to create an environment to encourage creativity and innovation, and above all, the need to increase employee satisfaction and worklife balance. The need to relook at how companies have designed their office is challenging; the difficulty for employers to change how they work traditionally may need some tweaking, and to manage four generations within the workforce encourages organisations to look for a solution. With the growing rental cost in Singapore, many growing companies faces a shortage of office space

Workplace design and workplace strategy are supporting tools for your organisational growth” for hire. Hiring more staff, yet the cost of moving to a bigger premises always seems to be a stumbling block. By incorporating technology, people and space, Ampersand successfully reduced square footage per employee by 30% by creating an office landscape that incorporates multipurpose space, flexible spaces, activity based spaces and quiet rooms. The challenge is always having all these spaces yet retaining spaces that encourage independent or collaborative working modes. Workplace design and workplace strategy are supporting tools for your organisational growth. Ampersand has assisted in helping our clients create a brand and culture from within yet maintain a functional streamlined operational design to help drive productivity at its peak. Understanding our clients is important; Ampersand take a long term view of our success by providing design solutions that drive businesses forward. With the rapid change on how people work, Ampersand take great interest in providing you a solution to tackle this change. If your office lease is nearing expiration and a review of your current space is needed, or maybe you are looking at increasing your workforce agility and flexibly, Ampersand’s expertise is readily available to assist in providing a physical work environment that aims for your company’s success and not forgetting Singapore’s success. 

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

39


MEETING THE FUTURE

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS


SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

Continued from page 37 ➤

Water Resources Grace Fu in March 2015, the pilot programme will provide two hawker centres with a recycling machine each which can convert the food waste and leftover food into compost and water. Relevant workers at the hawker centres will be trained by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to properly segregate the food waste. The Government is also evaluating the economic viability of collecting food waste from shopping malls, hospitals and a host of other institutions and treating this waste at a centralised recycling facility. Clementi, in the West of Singapore, has been chosen for this district-level food waste pilot programme, mainly due to its proximity to the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant. The pilot will also study the possibility of recovering energy from the food waste and the used-water sludge at the plant. Green Tourism: Tourism is a significant revenue source for the Singapore economy – with over 15.6 million visitor arrivals in the country in 2013, tourism receipts for the year were pegged at about $23.5b. While Singapore may not figure at the top of “eco-tourism” destinations, it is taking steps to ensure that all tourism is eco-friendly. In November 2013, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched Sustainability Guidelines to serve as a reference guide for Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry players in Singapore. The objective of the guidelines is to encourage more local MICE players to meet global sustainability standards. Applicable to seven categories including hotels, venues, event organisers and meeting planners, transportation, food and beverage, as well as audio visual set-up, the guidelines offer advice on waste management, efficient use of water and energy as well as actions that could facilitate active participation in sustainable practices by employees. Leading hotels and convention centres now adopt sustainability practices. Marina Bay Sands, now a prominent landmark in Singapore, adopts a global strategy labelled Sands ECO360° Sustainability programme that consists of four pillars: Green Buildings, Environmentally Responsible Operations, Sustainable Meetings and Stakeholder Engagement. It holds the honour of being the first MICE facility in South East Asia to obtain the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification and is also the largest building in Singapore to achieve the Green Mark Gold Award by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Similarly, the Sentosa Development Corporation has a sustainability plan to safeguard the environment and safeguard the island’s heritage assets. A finalist in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2013, Sentosa is home to several Green Mark certified buildings as well as 30 carefully-preserved heritage trees and over 30 conserved buildings. The Park Royal on Pickering is another hotel that has made a name for its eco-friendly sustainability practices. According to stats published by the hotel, it could power 680 households with its annual energy savings and fill 32.5 Olympic-sized pools saved through water conservation efforts annually. The hotel has 2m2 of lush greenery for every 1m2 of its total land area. Use of solar cells, sunlight and rain water harvesting, light, motion and rain sensors

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

41


SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPORE

Sustainable development – Objectives for 2030 Sustainable development

Goals by 2030

Energy – Greater efficiency and diversification

Reduce energy intensity (per dollar GDP) by 35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Waste – Towards zero landfill

Improve recycling rate from 56% in 2008 to 65% in 2020 and 70% in 2030.

Water – Towards selfsufficiency and greater efficiency

Reduce total domestic water consumption from 156 litres per capita per day in 2008 to 147 litres per capita per day by 2020, and 140 litres per capita per day by 2030.

Air Quality – Cleaner air

Cap ambient sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels at 15μg/m3 by 2020 and maintain it at this level until 2030. Reduce the annual mean for ambient fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) from 16μg/m3 in 2008 to 12μg/m3 by 2020 and maintain it at this level until 2030.

Clean, Blue and Green Physical Environment    

Increase the green park space by 900ha to 4,200ha by 2020, and reach a park provision of 0.8ha per 1,000 population by 2030. Increase the length of park connectors (linear parks) from 100km in 2007 to 360km by 2020. Introduce 30ha of skyrise greenery by 2020 and 50ha of skyrise greenery by 2030. Open 820ha of reservoirs and 90km of waterways for recreational activities by 2020 and have 900ha of reservoirs and 100km of waterways open for recreational activities by 2030.

Capability and Expertise

Build Singapore into an outstanding knowledge hub in the latest technology and services that will help cities grow in a more environmentally friendly way.

Environmentally Responsible Community

Build a community in Singapore where everyone adopts a more environmentally responsible lifestyle. Environmental responsibility will be part of our people and business culture.

combine to make this a truly ecofriendly hotel. THE SUSTAINABLE SINGAPORE BLUEPRINT (SSB) The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD), set up in January 2008, identified four key strategies as part of the original Sustainable Singapore Blueprint to achieve Singapore’s sustainable development and enable the country to be efficient and competitive in the long run. The four pillars of this blueprint were to improve resource efficiency, enhance urban development, achieve community action, and build technologies and capabilities. A wide-ranging action plan with specific steps to tangibly fulfill each of these objectives – improving greenery and cleanliness, reducing air pollution levels, investing in solar energy and other R&D, enhancing public transport, to name just a few – was executed in the last six years. Singapore is well on its way to achieving

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

the ambitious goals and targets it had set itself for various parameters related to sustainability as part of the SSB 2009. The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and the Ministry of National Development have now published the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint for 2015, which outlines the country’s vision for a more liveable and sustainable Singapore. The vision is for Singapore to be: A Liveable and Endearing Home, A Vibrant and Sustainable City and An Active and Gracious City. MAKING THE BLUEPRINT WORK In a written response to a question in the parliament on the steps being taken by the government to operationalise the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, said that many of the initiatives were already in progress. “For example, to improve our air quality, NEA has tightened the emissions standards of vehicles in recent years and will

further implement Euro VI emissions standards for new petrol and diesel vehicles from 1 September 2017 and 1 January 2018 respectively. To achieve a “car-lite” Singapore while bringing commuting convenience to residents, LTA and URA have drawn up plans to make towns more walkable and cyclist-friendly.” Dr. Balakrishnan emphasised the role that the community at large, including businesses, must play in realising the vision set out in the SSB 2015. “We need everyone to take stewardship of our environment and sustainable development. It should be second nature for people, businesses and the government to come together to care for our common spaces and environment, and champion a sustainable way of life. Together, we can be the proud stewards of a liveable home and sustainable city, one that can be enjoyed by many more generations of Singaporeans to come,” he wrote. 


SUSTAINABILITY IN SINGAPOREď‚Ť

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As an international leader in technology and services, Bosch is committed to improving quality of life. That is what Bosch employs around 290,000 people to do, why it invests around eight billion SGD annually in research and development, and why it applies for over 4,500 patents per year. The resulting innovative Bosch products and solutions have made life in Singapore a little better each day since the early 1920s. More information at: www.bosch.com.sg SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

43


MEETING FUTURE COMPANY THE INSIGHT ROBERT BOSCH

DRIVING SINGAPORE’S GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS S

ingapore is a hotbed for innovation, and Bosch will continue developing future-oriented technologies from within the country for the global market. Bosch is convinced that internet-enabled products and internet-based services are among the key drivers that secure the company’s growth and future. Singapore leads the world in smartphone penetration, and this is a reflection of the readiness of Singaporeans for an interconnected lifestyle. Making Singapore a smarter and more efficient city is a priority for the public and private sectors alike, and this aspiration is attracting top talent to flock to the country. Many opportunities for pioneering technological advancements exist within Singapore as a result of the country’s favourable conditions for innovations to thrive. Singapore’s legislative framework favours protection of intellectual property; the mature technological ecosystem is teeming with research institutions involved in cutting-edge technologies; while the high standard of education provides a skilled workforce. Technology companies of every size have chosen Singapore as their regional base of operations, forming a strong network of key players where multinational companies such as Bosch are intertwined with young start-ups. In recent years, however, similar networks are emerging in the neighbouring countries within Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are becoming increasingly attractive to foreign investors. This allure is driven largely by increased investments into infrastructure and education; and legislation and policy-making that are conducive for economic

44

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

growth and investor confidence. As the regional headquarters for Bosch, Singapore holds strategic importance not only in housing corporate functions that are pillars for the company’s stability, the organisation also drives business growth and expansion of its diverse businesses across Southeast Asia from Singapore. Bosch has sales presence in every ASEAN country, with manufacturing and R&D facilities across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. However, it is in Singapore that Bosch conducts the development of advanced technologies such as sensors, energy management, renewable energy, and the Internet of Things. In 2013, Bosch spent around SGD eight billion globally on research and


ROBERT BOSCH

development, which amounted to about 10 percent of the company’s global revenue. The company generated approximately 4,500 patent applications, equating to an average of 18 patents per working day. Out of the R&D facilities that Bosch has worldwide, two Asia-Pacific headquarters are located in Singapore. The Corporate Research and Advance Engineering Centre is involved in trend scouting, feasibility studies, and developing the commercial viability of next-generation technologies. This includes cost-optimised electrification solutions tailored for Asia, which comprises a smart mix of renewable energy sources and power storage. Bosch Software Innovations, the software arm of the Bosch Group, develops solutions that connect and network physical devices with each other via the internet, giving rise to a host of services and business models. The ambition to become the world’s first smart nation is backed by the introduction of new initiatives, starting with the establishment of the Smart Nation Programme Office within the Prime Minister’s Office in December 2014. There are many opportunities in Singapore for pioneering research into the use of connected devices. The Smart Nation initiative was launched to capitalise on advances in cloud computing, ubiquitous communications, sensors and big data analytics to create an interconnected way of life in Singapore. Many business opportunities for technology companies such as Bosch are created because of these forward-thinking actions by the Singapore government. For these corporations, which already conduct future-oriented research, Singapore is an ideal ecosystem where new and emerging technologies can be put to practical use. While Singapore’s high standards of education provide employers with a remarkable pool of talent, global companies such as Bosch rely on the mobility of their international talent pool to transfer knowledge and expertise, and develop their businesses. In order to share ideas and collaborate within the technology ecosystem in Singapore, the policies governing the movement of talent should be less prohibitive. Fewer restrictions on labour mobility, especially for experienced personnel with very specific, highly-valued skill sets, will pave the way towards greater exchange of knowledge and experience not only in management and executive roles, but also in specialist project teams. For multi-national companies such as Bosch, just as Singaporean talents are valued and expatriated to other countries, so are multinational talents making their way into Singapore to develop the business here and in the region. The international knowledge transfer that happens as a result of the free movement

COMPANY INSIGHT

Ensuring the quality of talent is a shared responsibility of the public and private sectors alike” of labour is invaluable to Bosch. Furthermore, studies have shown that diverse project teams generate greater results. Ensuring the quality of talent is a shared responsibility of the public and private sectors alike. In Singapore, the government remains committed to raising education standards of the local talent pool, including strong cooperation with the private sector to enhance real-world learning. However, in order for Singapore to maintain a competitive edge on the global stage, Bosch believes that more needs to be done; a differentiated, sector-focussed approach on labour mobility needs to be considered to benefit from a global exchange of knowledge and expertise, and fulfil the technological needs becoming a smart nation. The speed at which companies are able to innovate depends very much on having the right people working on the right projects at the right time to propel Singapore into its next era of development. 

As an international leader in technology and services, Bosch is committed to improving quality of life. That is what Bosch employs around 290,000 people to do, why it invests around eight billion SGD annually in research and development, and why it applies for over 4,500 patents per year. The resulting innovative Bosch products and solutions have one thing in common: they make people’s lives a little better each day. Bosch has been in Singapore since the early 1920s with innovations that improve life in our city. More information at: www.bosch.com.sg

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

45


COMPANY INSIGHT

DENIS GROUP

DENIS’ THREE KEYS I

n 1892, Alfred Clouet of France founded his company in Singapore – A. Clouet & Co. Pte. Ltd – with a vision to import canned food which was, at that time, a new food preservation technology. While Mr Clouet chose the design of a rooster, it is the people of Singapore who gave the products its name as Ayam Brand™. The company was eventually acquired in the 1950s by the Denis Group, a major family trading Group having its own roots in Vietnam. The Singapore base provided the strong foundations for the growth story of the Denis Group in the past 50 years. This allowed the Denis Group to pursue the expansion of its food business throughout Asia and to develop Ayam Brand™ to become an international Asian brand, recognised for its consistent superior quality and capability to innovate and be part of the life of successive generations of Asian consumers. The Denis Group sees a dynamic future for Ayam Brand™ in Singapore – and in Asia – based on three key directions. Firstly, Ayam Brand™ wants to be a relevant partner in the life of new generations of Singaporeans, seeing that busy lifestyles require new products that provide more variety to help homemakers surprise their family with home cooked meal occasions that are authentic, healthy and convenient. As Singapore moves more and more towards a smart city of excellence, so must Ayam Brand™ move to smart, healthy and innovative meal solutions. Secondly, Ayam Brand wants to build on the trust that has been built with Singaporeans over many years by upholding the highest standards in food safety while being mindful of the nutrition benefits and guidance that consumers will like to access on various platforms, be they in print or web or social media or nutrition talks. Customers will also want to know that the processes behind the products respect the environment and that the company works towards reduce-reuse-recycle, and clean industry. Thirdly, Ayam Brand™ wants to grow its relationship with Singaporeans in two ways. By being part of the great communications capabilities

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The Singapore base provided the strong foundations for the growth story of the Denis Group in the past 50 years” offered by the digital age, that allow businesses and particularly consumer brands to talk, listen to and respond to all its customers at an unprecedented scale and with increased speed. And by providing support to community events as a responsible and engaged corporate citizen. The Denis Group is strongly committed to Singapore as its operational headquarters as the Group recognises the forward-looking qualities of the country and its government, and the positive and fundamental values it puts forward in its nation building. We feel inspired and supported by the rapid progress of Singapore in all areas of infrastructure, communication, education, safety, finance, strong community links, team spirit and multicultural diversity and understanding. We are confident the continuous investment in these areas will strengthen Singapore and enhance its influence over the region and beyond. Similarly, the Denis Group continuously invests in these areas as well, at the level of its own business, while being always mindful that we all work for the benefit of our customers. 


n i S h i c n e g t a a pore n n a M In Business to

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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TIMELINE

A TIMELINE OF FIFTY YEARS OF INDEPENDENT SINGAPORE

On 7 August, 1965 Singapore and Malaysia sign a separation agreement as per which Singapore is to pull out of the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore becomes independent on August 9, 1965 after the Malaysian Parliament expelled Singapore from the Federation.

The first Singapore dollar was issued on 12 June, 1967 following the establishment of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore in April of that year.

1965-1970 Singapore became the 104th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on 3 August, 1966.

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

Singapore Airlines (SIA), one of the world’s most iconic airlines was formed in 1972. Since its inception, the multiple award-winning airline has often set the benchmarks for the quality of its product, efficiency and service.

1971-1975 In July 1967, the country drafted the first batch of the army for National Service, after the National Service Bill had been passed in Parliament. Within a year, Britain decides to withdraw its armed forces from Singapore. Singapore becomes a founder member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and begins to play a strategic role in improving multilateral cooperation between countries in the region.

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Race riots broke out in Singapore in 1969, a spillover of the riots in Malaysia between Chinese and Malay communities. After the riots were quelled and normalcy restored, serious effort was put in to build and maintain interracial harmony and prevent a similar situation from occurring.

The National Productivity Board was established in 1972, one of the earliest steps in the country’s continuing endeavour to boost productivity. In the same year, the National Wages Council (NWC) was created to strengthen tripartite relations between the government, workers and employers and provide guidelines on wage negotiations. ‘Tripartism’ has been a key feature and philosophy of manpower/ labour management in Singapore; in fact, the Ministry of Manpower terms it a competitive advantage for the country.

Singapore acceded to the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) in 1973, as the country set about establishing itself as an important trading hub in Asia. The National Stadium in Singapore at Kallang, an important landmark in Singapore’s history, is completed in 1973. The country hosted the VIIth edition of the South East Asian Peninsular Games (subsequently called the South East Asia (SEA) Games), for the first time. Subsequently, the city has hosted the games in 1983 and 1993. It is due to host the 28th edition of the Games in Singapore between 5-16 June, 2015.


TIMELINE

Fifty years in a nation’s history is a very short time. Singapore’s achievements in this duration to become the modern, developed country that it is renowned to be, is the result of visionary leadership, meticulous planning, and focussed and committed execution. Presented here is a small selection of events, actions, achievements and milestones that have either shaped or graced the country’s brief history since full independence.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) was set up in 1979. In a year, the MTI formulated the ‘Second Economic Plan’ to deal with manpower shortfalls and improve productivity.

1976-1980 Skill development was given a fillip with the set-up of the Skills Development Fund in 1979. The Council of Professional and Technical Education (CPTE) was created to guide national manpower planning. Singapore became the world’s second busiest port in terms of tonnage.

The National Computer Board (NCB) was established in 1982 to spearhead computerisation.

The Trade Development Board in 1983 was set up to develop Singapore as an international trading hub and boost the country’s exports.

1981-1985 The first terminal of the Changi International Airport, consistently ranked among the world’s best airports, was officially opened on 29 December, 1981. Construction of the airport involved the use of over 52,000,000 cubic metres of landfill and seafill. Changi Airport currently operates three terminals with the construction of a fourth terminal underway. Plans are afoot to commence work on a fifth and much larger terminal, which is projected to have an initial capacity of over 50 million passengers per year. A Changi Airport Development Fund with an initial capitalisation of S$3 billion will be set up for the expansion of the airport.

To promote Singapore as a strategic hub for manufacturing and services and attract large multinational corporations, the country introduced its Overseas HQ (OHQ) incentive program in 1986. The same year, the National Information Technology Plan was formulated.

1986-1990 Singapore went into recession for the first time since independence in 1985. To chart the future direction of the country’s economy, the Economic Committee chaired by Lee Hsien Loong was set up. The country undertook key initiatives to improve its cost competitiveness, including wage cuts and a flexible remuneration system.

The Singapore Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) commenced operations with a 6km section in 1987. The MRT system has since grown to cover 152.9km with an average daily ridership of over 2.75 million. The Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) is founded. Twenty-five editions of Singapore’s largest film festival have been held up to 2014.

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TIMELINE

Singapore becomes part of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping formed in 1989 to enhance trade and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a seamless succession and transition of power, Goh Chok Tong takes over as the second prime minister of Singapore from Lee Kuan Yew, who held the post for 31 years.

1986-1990 Trade Development Board (TDB) implemented TradeNet, the world’s first nationwide electronic data interchange (EDI) network for the automated processing of trade documents.

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The National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) was formed to develop Singapore into a centre of excellence in Science and Technology. The National Technology Plan was formulated, setting out the directions for the promotion of Research & Development in Singapore.

1991-1995 The Batam Industrial Park was launched following a cooperation agreement with Indonesia to help develop the Riau Province. The agreement also led to the subsequent development of the Bintan Beach International Resort (BBIR), Bintan Industrial Estate (BIE) and Karimun Marine & Industrial Complex (KMIC).

The IT 2000 Plan was released to develop Singapore into an intelligent island in 1992. Singapore introduced a $1 billion Cluster Development Fund (CDF) to boost development of indigenous industries in high-growth clusters. A $500 million Innovation Development Scheme was also launched in the same period.

The Singapore Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) was formed in 1996, which also took charge of SME development. The Tourism 21 Plan, a strategic blueprint to develop Singapore into a tourism capital, was launched.

1996-2000 Singapore is impacted by the Asian economic crisis of 1997 and slips into recession the following year for the first time in 13 years.


TIMELINE

The government embarks on plans to complete Singapore’s first desalination plant by 2005.

The US$1 billion Technopreneurship Investment Fund was launched to spur development of the venture capital industry in Singapore.

The first volume of Lee Kuan Yew’s memoirs, The Singapore Story, is released.

A $7 billion Science and Technology plan for 20012005 was launched.

The Startup Enterprise Development Scheme (SEEDS), a $50 million fund, was launched on 1 October 2001 with the aim of providing equity financing for start-ups in the seed stage of enterprise formation.

The Trade Development Board (TDB) and the Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) are repositioned and renamed International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and SPRING Singapore respectively in April 2002.

2001-2005 Singapore Expo, the largest exhibition centre in Asia outside Japan with over 100,000 square metres of column-free indoor space, was opened to promote Singapore as an ‘International Exhibition City’. The exhibition centre, designed by Cox Richardson Rayner, was funded by the Ministry of Trade & Industry and cost S$220 million (before a 40,000 square metre expansion).

The National Computer Board (NCB) and the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS) are merged to form the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), a testament to the growing convergence of information technology and telecommunications. The first Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, which complements the MRT network as feeder services, started operations. The fully automated lines run on viaducts, making optimum use of scarce land in Singapore. A long-term initiative was launched to develop Life Sciences as the fourth pillar of Singapore’s industries.

A $498.7 million National Science Scholarship Programme for FY01-05 was introduced, to support 950 postgraduate scholarships and 700 fellowships in selected science and engineering disciplines, including biomedical sciences. The government accepts the recommendations of the Economic Review Committee (ERC) in 2002 to focus on making Singapore a globalised economy; a creative and entrepreneurial nation and a diversified economy powered by manufacturing and services.

The first two NEWater plants at Bedok and Kranji were commissioned, which was a major milestone in the country’s bid to achieve its water sustainability goals. Subsequently, two more NEWater plants were made operational.

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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TIMELINE

Singapore’s response to the 2003 outbreak of the SARS virus – termed the worst crisis faced by the country – is commendable. This included a SARS Relief Package of over S$230 million to help businesses; several local and global marketing campaigns; as well as the launch of several Business Continuity Management standards.

Lee Hsien Loong takes over as the third Prime Minister of Singapore. Government gives approval to permit casino gambling and the construction of two multi-billion dollar casino resorts.

2001-2005 Singapore became the first country in Asia to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States in 2003. ‘Singapore Education’ and ‘Singapore Medicine’ programes are launched to promote the country as a hub for education and premier medical services. Biopolis, a 2-million square foot R&D complex focussed on biomedical sciences, is opened in October 2003. It is the world’s first such complex.

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Singapore became the first city to hold a ‘night race’ for the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2008. It was also the first in Asia to hold it as a street race. The Singapore Sustainability Blueprint is released in 2009 which articulates the country’s aspirations and plans to pursue sustainable development and growth.

2006-2010 Singapore hosts the 117th IOC session where London was awarded the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

In 2010, the World Bank annual report continues to rate Singapore as the best country in which to run a business. Singapore became the first city to host the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, having bagged the rights in 2008 to do so.

Singapore becomes the second country in the world after the US to regulate virtual currencies such as bitcoins, in an attempt to prevent money-laundering.

2011-2015 Through the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Singapore takes steps to become the first Smart Nation in the world. The first phase of the Smart Nation Platform is expected to be rolled out in 2015.


TIMELINE

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

53


MEETING LIFE IN SINGAPORE THE FUTURE

SINGAPORE’S QUALITY OF LIFE As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore as an independent sovereign nation, it is a good time to reflect where the country and its business community have come from and where they are going. It is also a good time to appreciate the enviable quality of life which all of us who are fortunate enough to live in Singapore enjoy.

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l

et’s start with giving thanks. We are all so fortunate to live in a peaceful country where the rule of law is applied equally to all without fear or favour. We are all so fortunate to live in a multi-racial country where all races are appreciated and have equal opportunities to succeed. We are also very fortunate to live in a country where people of 10 religions can practise their respective faiths; and where people of no faith are not at risk of any of the 10 imposing theirs on them. None of these advantages happened by chance. They were fashioned in the interests of the common good from the crucible of division,


MEETING LIFE IN THE SINGAPORE FUTURE

intolerance and racial riots 50 years ago by an extraordinary team of leaders. EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP Singapore was so very lucky to have Mr Lee Kuan Yew at a critical point in its history. Mr Lee and all Singaporeans and residents of Singapore were lucky to have a very able team of founding fathers. Mr S Rajaratnam and Dr Goh Keng Swee are two examples of note. This leadership team was focussed on success and on delivering a better quality of life for their fellow citizens and residents of Singapore. This utilitarian concept of political leadership – delivering the maximum benefit to the maximum number of citizens and residents – is politics at its very best. It is also an example of unselfish, business-like leadership at its best. When we see increasing intolerance, polarisation and barbaric extremism in the world today, we can begin to appreciate what we have and what it took to

achieve it. We can, perhaps, also begin to realise what it takes to maintain what we have achieved. This is not an argument for triumphalism. That has never been the Singapore way since 1965. Singapore, like any country, has its challenges and I shall talk about some of these. However, Singapore is a real live case study for what clean government can achieve by working in partnership with business and the workforce. Singapore can be justly proud that it is a beacon of light in a troubled world. That is one important reason why we should be grateful for what we have. It is also why we must never take Singapore for granted. Singapore is a very exceptional and special country. It deserves to be sustained and all of us who live here must work together to sustain Singapore’s success. 50 years ago, no-one owed Singapore and its people a living. That is still the case today and will always be the case. A small city-state is forever vulnerable to external threats, internal dissent and a dysfunctional polity. To sustain Singapore’s success we

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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LIFE IN SINGAPORE

Singapore is a very exceptional and special country. It deserves to be sustained and all of us who live here must work together to sustain Singapore’s success. “

first must have the will to do so. To have the will, we have to care what happens to our city-state and our quality of life. Over the past few months in the run up to the 50th anniversary of our independence, there are those who have remarked that Singapore’s glory days are over. That what is now called for is managing for decline. This kind of defeatism is not an option and nor is it what Singaporeans believe. It is not an option because Singapore is a city-state and its population has nowhere to go. There is no hinterland. Just like in August 1965 there is nowhere to go, but onwards and upwards. MANAGING THE THREATS TO SUSTAINABILITY There are external threats aplenty to Singapore’s sustainability but I want to focus on the internal threats which we can better influence and control. First and foremost, any city-state needs a functional

and functioning form of government and not one prone to demagoguery, instability and paralysis. This is best assured by a clean leadership team which is continually refreshed with new talent to avoid the creation of a stultifying elite and group think. Second, a workforce with a positive attitude is a requisite for sustainability. One of the unintended consequences of Singapore’s economic success and tight labour market is a suboptimal work ethic among many people. This results in employees with a misplaced sense of entitlement who do not understand that the working relationship, like any relationship, is a two-way street. Too frequent jobhopping is detrimental to individual development of skills and competencies. It is also detrimental to the execution of business strategy. The tight labour market also creates a misplaced view among too many employers that they cannot do anything about employee mindset and behaviour. Indeed, the current consensus is that only a deep recession will change employee attitudes for the better. This is a fallacy. We cannot afford to wait until the next recession. Employers can help with mindset change now – their own and that of their employees. Job expectations must be clearly communicated to and understood by employees right from the start. Employees should not be oversold job A, only to

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A T56T O SUSTAINING R N E Y S SINGAPORE’S A T L A W SUCCESS


LIFE IN SINGAPORE

realise that they are expected to do job B when they join the company’s ranks. Employees must realise that if they sign a contract they have to follow through and work with the terms they have agreed to and signed. Employers must not be afraid to take action against employees who sign a contract and then do not turn up for work and expect to get away with it. Third, more companies need to elevate human capital management to a strategic role. Too many still regard human capital management as limited to a support function for compensation and benefits, recruitment, contracts and terminations. Human capital management is not an admin-only role. It has a vital part to play in helping companies formulate and execute their business strategies. Fourth, one benefit of our tight labour market has been the increased participation of older workers. Ageism is a problem everywhere, but in Singapore it is illogical. It is as illogical as consultants trying to persuade employers to stand their business on its head to suit the so-called Gen Ys or Millennials. We need to stop putting people in silos based on age and start recognising each person for their skills, competencies and potential. Fifth, our society’s views of service jobs, particularly in areas like the hotel and food and beverage

industries, need to change. Because most people in Singapore have domestic help, service jobs are perceived as being of the same low status as that ascribed to domestic maids. This is unfair to both the maids who enable their employers to go out to work and those who work in the service jobs. We need to ditch these blinkered and narrow views. 50 years ago only the very rich could afford domestic help as is the case today in most developed countries. In providing domestic support to facilitate women entering the workforce we have inadvertently created a variety of unintended consequences. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the internal threats to Singapore. But all of these threats are opportunities for government, the workforce, business and academia to work together to address them. I have no doubt that we have sufficient people with the skills, competencies and passion to do so. This is the best way to celebrate SG50. It is also how Singapore’s success will be sustained – the same way it was built.

Victor Mills Chief Executive Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.

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COMPANY INSIGHT

ROLLS-ROYCE

ROLLS-ROYCE AND 50 YEARS OF HISTORY S

ingapore’s first 50 years as an independent nation saw a brand new republic blossom into a thriving international business centre. Rolls-Royce, whose presence in the little red dot goes back to the 1950s, has grown and prospered along with it, and in the past decade, we have been leading the way in the aerospace and marine industries here. Over time, the Rolls-Royce and Singapore relationship has evolved into a strong, collaborative partnership. Singapore’s strategic location as a business hub enables Rolls-Royce to be closer to its Asia-Pacific customer base – the world’s fastestgrowing aerospace market, which represents half of our total order book. Its business-friendly environment is conducive to high value manufacturing, and the country’s focus on education has provided us with a highly skilled workforce. This combination delivers an opportune platform for us to manage and exceed our customers’ expectations. Today, Rolls-Royce operations in Singapore are at the core of the company. The S$700 million, 154,000 square metre Seletar Campus demonstrates our commitment to the region. It features the most modern Rolls-Royce manufacturing, assembly and

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test facility for Trent aero engines, a state-ofthe-art Wide Chord Fan Blade facility, as well as research and training facilities. We employ more than 850 staff at the Seletar campus across various functions including assembly, manufacturing, research and corporate shared services – human resources, finance, purchasing and supply chain and logistics. Over 90 per cent of our employees here are Singaporeans or permanent residents. As we continue to grow our workforce in line with our production targets, we expect this number to rise to approximately 1,000 by 2016, when production reaches full capacity. Overall, with our joint venture partners including Singapore Airlines Engineering Company, we employ more than 2,200 people in Singapore and account for over 15 per cent of the country’s aerospace output. CONTINUED GROWTH FOR THE NATION The aerospace industry is a strategic pillar of Singapore’s economic success; it achieved a record output of S$7.9bn in 2011 and accounts for approximately 7 per cent of GDP. As this continues to grow, and we with it, we must ensure that we can adapt to be at the forefront of service and innovation, with the support of the Singapore Government. The Government of Singapore has a long-term focus with a strong emphasis on innovation and R&D, as well as a robust IP regime, enabling companies like ours to take important investment decisions with confidence. We also hope to see this strong government support continue in the future, especially in the development of a culture of productivity gains. The Economic Development Board (EDB) works with organisations closely to enhance training and productivity with strategies such as lean manufacturing. This strategy of proactive engagement will continue into the future. One key initiative is the Advanced Re-manufacturing Technology


ROLLS-ROYCE

Centre (ARTC) – a new public-private partnership by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in partnership with the Nanyang Technology University (NTU) – which will test-pilot cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to reduce costs, improve productivity, and shave off manufacturing lead time. Beyond that, in July 2013, Rolls-Royce signed an agreement with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to establish the Rolls-Royce@NTU Corporate Lab at a joint investment of S$75 million. Supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the new facility is the first of its kind in the world with a university that will focus on developing future innovations in the areas of Aerospace and Marine Power Systems, Manufacturing and Repair Technologies, Measurement Systems, and Big Data Analytics. THE KEY CHALLENGES The number of people in Singapore employed in the aerospace industry stands at more than 19,900 in 2012, of which 90 per cent are skilled. As the industry grows, the challenge is to ensure a continued line of skilled manpower capable of making a difference. At Rolls-Royce, we know that a strong pipeline of well-qualified scientists and engineers is critical to the future success of our business. We also recognise the value of employees with a sound skills base. So, in 2010 we signed an agreement with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) for the provision of core skills in aerospace manufacturing, and a Memorandum of Understanding to develop specialist Precision Engineering Workforce Skills Qualifications in collaboration with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency. We are a significant and committed contributor in establishing Singapore as a leading regional hub for talent in the aviation and aerospace industry. We also work closely with various agencies and institutions across government, industry and academia, to train and develop talent and nurture a culture of engineering excellence. These partnerships include training and development initiatives with organisations like the National Trades Union Congress, e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to develop specialist training and qualifications to support the aerospace and marine industry as it continues to develop in the region. The company also

COMPANY INSIGHT

participates in the EDB’s Training and Attachment Programme (TAP), which aims to help companies develop manpower capabilities and prepare for growth. The Advanced Re-manufacturing Technology Centre also supports the development of talent with industry-relevant PhD degrees through the Industrial Postgraduate Programme managed by the EDB. These students pursue their degrees while being employed by Rolls-Royce and conduct research on subjects that are of importance to the company. MOVING FORWARD Like the systems we power for use on land, at sea and in the air, Rolls-Royce will continue to move forward. In the next five to ten years, we hope

Like the systems we power for use on land, at sea and in the air, Rolls-Royce will continue to move forward. In the next five to ten years, we hope to establish and grow our regional supply chain network”

to establish and grow our regional supply chain network. We are also driving the development of local leadership to achieve a seat at global decisionmaking tables. To remain competitive and build world-class talent we need to constantly look at innovating and developing close working relationships with key local partners across government and academia, including the Ministry of Manpower. With a history that goes back many decades, Rolls-Royce today is an integral part of Singapore’s aviation success story and its place as an aerospace hub for the region. We look forward to continuing our mutually supportive and rewarding partnership with Singapore and many years of further development and growth with our partners here.

Jonathan Asherson, Regional Director, ASEAN and Pacific, Rolls-Royce plc

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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COMPANY INSIGHT

SATS

REACHING GREATER HEIGHTS TOGETHER T

BELOW: SATS offers a comprehensive range of ground handling services, ensuring prompt and precise handling of flights, passengers and airfreight.

he story of SATS’ growth is one which is closely intertwined with Singapore, dating back to before the nation’s independence. In 1947, SATS started as a department in the then-Malayan Airways, providing ground handling services. When Singapore Airlines was formed in 1972, we were corporatised shortly after as a subsidiary of the national carrier. As Singapore’s nascent aviation industry grew from strength to strength, SATS progressed alongside. With the opening of Changi Airport in 1981, we also moved east. We set up two new airfreight terminals and an inflight catering centre, which at that time was the largest single-building inflight kitchen in the world. Over the years, we continually invested in new capabilities and infrastructure to handle the

burgeoning passenger and airfreight growth at Changi. Today, SATS handles nearly 80 per cent of the flights, playing our part to ensure the balletic precision Changi Airport is known for. Beyond the aviation sector, we are deeply integrated in the fabric of Singapore’s national development and our shared infrastructure. We are proud to cater the rations which sustain our Armed Forces as they protect and defend the nation; to offer visitors to our iconic Sports Hub a delectable array of culinary options; to feed the thousands of participants and volunteers who made 2010’s inaugural Youth Olympic Games and the annual National Day Parade resounding successes; and to welcome visitors to Singapore at not just Changi Airport but also the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. MOVING INTO THE NEXT 50 YEARS As Singapore rounds her first 50 years and moves forward, SATS will need to adapt continuously to the shifting landscape around us. Our growth and progress cannot be sustained without new innovations and improvements in productivity. Over the past 12 months, we have implemented several initiatives aimed at improving our service and productivity levels while lowering our operating costs in the long run. A good example is the launch of a mobile export cargo checking system at our airfreight terminals, an industry first in Asia. Previously, our export checking function was paper-based, laborious and manual. Our export checkers had to shuffle multiple times between office and warehouse to print updated pre-manifests for cargo build-up. They also had to manually record information on shipment loading at the warehouse, and subsequently keyed it into our warehouse management system when they returned to the office. Now, our export checkers can perform real-time cargo checking and updating of shipment information within our airfreight terminals by using mobile tablets. This saves time in terms of the multiple trips back and forth to the warehouse as well as reduces paperbased processes, in line with IATA’s e-freight initiative to promote a paper-free airfreight community. On a per shift basis, each checker saves a full 98 minutes, freeing him/her up for more productive work. In addition, access to real-time information allows for more timely reactions to shipment changes and better

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SATS

customer service overall. Another initiative involved the use of mobile computing technology to improve workflow in our inflight catering operations. Known as the inflight catering control management system, it updates the difference in passenger loads nearer to each flight’s departure and generates food packing lists accordingly. As a result, it eliminates paperwork, reduces manual updating and waiting time for food items, and improves accuracy in terms of food items collected. The real-time data in the system also provides better visibility of the progress of flight preparations for our catering control centre. Productivity improves as more flights can be handled in the same amount of time. Aside from these initiatives, SATS recognises that our people are the cornerstone of our success. In parallel, we have introduced several new human capital initiatives to improve productivity by encouraging training and upskilling; and to promote a Singaporean core workforce and performance-based culture within the group. To create a fertile environment for innovation and sharing of best practices, we have programmes such as the Annual Excellence Conference and the Innovation and Productivity Launch to recognise innovation, and encourage improvements in work processes and development of new products and services.

As Singapore rounds her first 50 years and moves forward, SATS will need to adapt continuously to the shifting landscape around us”

Nurturing talent is also our priority. Having established a talent development framework to assess, mentor and coach our people at varying job levels, we have built a talent pipeline to meet our future succession needs. With an ageing workforce, tight labour market and rising manpower costs, we must continue to transform our business so as to ensure our service and productivity levels not only keep apace, but indeed, improve steadily. Said Mr Alex Hungate, SATS’ President and Chief Executive Officer: "New technologies, together with our culture of innovation and the passion of our people are creating exciting opportunities to invent new ways of working and drive greater efficiencies. Innovation will be key. Self-check-in for passengers,

COMPANY INSIGHT

driverless vehicles and the use of robotics in our kitchens all feature in our plans." OPPORTUNITIES BEYOND OUR SHORES With airline profitability projected to improve on the back of lower oil prices this year, the International Air Transport Association is predicting moderate improvements in regional air traffic this year. In the longer term, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for about two-thirds of global air travel growth over the next 20 years. In addition, two-thirds of the global middle class are expected to live in the Asia-Pacific by 2030 and a significant proportion of the new Asian middle class is also expected to be at the upper end of the income bracket. With these developments, there will be greater demand for better and safer food as well as increased travel. SATS is already well-placed to capture these opportunities before us. Today, we are present in 11 countries across Asia, where we handle airfreight, airline and cruise passengers, as well as provide food solutions to aviation and institutional customers. As we continue to grow our business and deepen our presence across Asia, particularly in priority markets like China, India and Indonesia, we will look to link and connect our operations to grow scale. We will also create unique services to address the changing needs of our customers. Singapore as the leading global city in Asia has much to offer. SATS will continue to innovate and develop new products and services which connect Singapore’s businesses and people to the region. We are looking forward to what the future holds. We remain confident in the medium to long-term growth prospects of both Singapore as well as the wider region. 

ABOVE: Staffed by a team of awardwinning chefs from around the world, SATS operates large-scale inflight catering centres, producing more than 90,000 meals a day.

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UNIVERSITY INSIGHT

SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

TO BUILD OUR FUTURE, WE MUST BE BOLD S

ingapore has done well from its humble beginnings as a fishing village. Over the past 50 years, it has developed into a first-world nation with GDP/capita of US$55,000. This was largely possible due to excellent governance that moved Singapore’s economy through multiple stages of growth using unskilled, semi-skilled blue collar and skilled white collar workforces. She is now faced with the challenge of sustaining her future given that other Asian countries are quickly closing the skills and governance gaps. Singapore has correctly identified innovation and productivity as the twin engines that can create a gold collar based economy. Let us examine what Singapore may

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need to do to improve innovation and productivity so that its economy can grow even more. IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY Singapore’s leaders are aware that they need to address two major measures of the nation’s productivity – GDP/hour and multifactor productivity that is often interpreted as economic growth arising from technical and organisational innovation.


SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

GDP/hour can be improved by moving the labour force from lower value added jobs to higher value added jobs. This requires a change in the mindset and skill sets of the workforce. Singapore has done very well in offering subsidies for reskilling its workforce. What it now needs to do is to institute mechanisms to change the mindset of its workforce. Technical and organisational innovation can be implemented effectively once the labour force has the right mindset. And, changing the mindset should address both current and future segments of the labour force. CHANGING THE MINDSET OF THE CURRENT LABOUR FORCE Given the tight labour market, it is increasingly tempting for more Singapore residents to resort to job-hopping as a means to improve their personal income. Singapore should educate her current labour force to improve their incomes by acquiring skills and competencies that will get them to perform higher value added per hour jobs. Singapore should use the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), the Council for the Development of Singapore Malay/Muslim Community (Mendaki) and the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) to communicate the urgency behind the need to change the mindset. Campaigns that highlight the opportunity cost for business as usual to both the individual and the nation can be effective mechanisms for producing mindset changes at large. Employers should be asked to review their HR policies to promote the change in mindset as well to discourage rampant job-hopping. Employees should only be promoted when they can perform at the next level. Such a policy combined with an adaptation of the “Up or Out” practice by consulting firms is likely to motivate the mindset change.

UNIVERSITY INSIGHT

chose not to acquire the skills and competencies required to perform the higher value added jobs. Both the case studies need to protect the identity of the individuals. It is the message and not a person’s name that is important. IMPROVING INNOVATION EFFICIENCY While the 2014 Global Innovation Index ranked Singapore as the 7th most innovative nation, it also ranked Singapore 110th for innovation efficiency, which is the ratio of innovation output sub-index and innovation input sub-index. Singapore was globally ranked 1st for innovation input sub-index and 25th for innovation output sub-index. Singapore was ranked 13th and 33rd for knowledge and technology, and creative outputs respectively, the two components of innovation output sub-index. So, it is very clear that Singapore has to design and implement mechanisms that will improve its innovation efficiency. The report identified the human factor as a critical third contributor to innovation, in addition to Technology and Capital. Two other important statements are worth noting. “Innovations, therefore, emerge from complex thinking, acting, and interacting of people going about their everyday work under certain framework conditions. In this context, it is particularly important that traditional technology and product-oriented perspective on innovation evolves into a more holistic one in which the key role of people and their working conditions is acknowledged.” “Thus the human factor in innovation does not stop at the supply side but reaches far into how

CHANGING THE MINDSET OF THE FUTURE LABOUR FORCE Singapore should introduce in schools, case studies of individuals who have continuously retooled themselves to perform increasingly higher value added jobs as a means of preparing the mindsets of the future labour force. Singapore should also introduce case studies of individuals who could not progress beyond a certain level because they

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SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Singapore has invested well in value creation through generating knowledge and capturing the knowledge either through academic publications or patents” innovations are received, accepted, and diffused.” While it may be tempting for Singapore to challenge the means of computing the innovation output sub-index (there is certainly room for improving this measure), it is important to formulate an interim and immediate response to the importance of the demand side of innovation, as well as an holistic view of innovations towards improving its innovation efficiency. Singapore has invested well in value creation through generating knowledge and capturing the knowledge either through academic publications or patents. Venture Labs, Business Innovation Labs and creating an innovative workforce could all contribute to improving Singapore’s innovation efficiency. Venture Labs improve monetisation on the supply side while Business Innovation Labs help realise value from the demand side and creating

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an innovative workforce provides the human capital dimension that will enable both the demand and supply sides. VENTURE LABS Venture Labs are a mechanism to bring inventions from the labs to the markets. An example of an academic institution which has been successful in monetising inventions is the Karolinska Institute in Sweden which has established two entities called KI Innovation and KI Development: the former qualifies marketworthy inventions, while the latter runs a Venture Lab. In the venture capital world, a good example of a company which has been very good in monetising inventions is FLAGSHIP VENTURES A Venture Lab typically employs retired or displaced business leaders as development managers. A development manager typically manages a few development projects simultaneously. The outcome is either licensing or startup. Development teams consist of employees with innovation development experience and students. The benefits of venture labs located within universities include the use of


SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

the university or research lab resources and facilities for the development phase. This results in reduced costs. Having an industry expert who understands the demand side provides optimal leadership. The inventors continue to be a part of the development team in consulting roles. Such Venture Labs could be located within universities or within the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). However, it is critical that such a lab be led by a person with deep experience in successful innovation development and commercialisation. Such talent should be imported if it is not available locally. BUSINESS INNOVATION LABS Singapore should recognise that billion-dollar companies such as Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest and WhatsApp were created using either mature technologies or shallow technologies to meet the demand side of innovations. Singapore should support the creation of Business Innovation Labs as a pre-incubation effort that can realise the value from the demand side of innovations. Business Innovation Labs should be located in market-focussed institutions.

UNIVERSITY INSIGHT

BUILDING AN INNOVATIVE WORKFORCE Singapore ought to consider revamping its education system to inculcate enhanced innovative, entrepreneurial and problem-solving behaviour among its future workforce. Capstone projects that require the application of integrative knowledge to find innovative solutions for pressing problems from the market side could be introduced, say, in Primary 3, Primary 6, Secondary 2, Secondary 4, Year 2 in Junior Colleges and Year 3 in Polytechnics, as a means of instilling an innovative mindset in the future workforce. In conclusion, doing more of the same is unlikely to help Singapore embark on the next lap of robust economic growth. It is time she takes some more bold initiatives, some albeit untried and untested, as a means of jumpstarting a new mindset across its population, institutions and processes. Such an experiment is likely to be less costly in comparison to the opportunity costs the nation has to pay for simply following past practices. ď Ź

Desai Arcot Narasimhalu is Director, Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Singapore Management University.

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DEFENCE

TOTAL DEFENCE DAY: DEFENDING SINGAPORE

On 13 February 2015, Col Gaurav Keerthi was invited by RI to address the Year 5-6 students for assembly in line with Total Defence Day.

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ood afternoon fellow Rafflesians, Thank you so much for inviting me to speak to the school today. I am extremely flattered and a little confused by the invitation though. On a solemn occasion like Total Defence Day, one normally invites an authoritative figure, to tell young minds what they should know about our past, and share stories about the old days. I am neither authoritative enough nor old enough to do either. So I will just share a few stories and unofficial thoughts, and generally create a headache for the teacher who suggested inviting me. I remember my time in Raffles very fondly, because it was here that I really came alive. While I played many sports, my time as a debater shaped me the most. It taught me how to question everything, to see both sides of an issue, and most importantly, to disagree

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without being disrespectful. I like to tackle controversial issues head-on. Since we are commemorating Total Defence Day, I thought I could try to ask four fundamental questions about defending Singapore: (1) Do we need to defend Singapore? (2) Do we need our own military force to defend Singapore? (3) Do we need to invest money, talent, and effort into our military? and (4) Is military defence sufficient? Firstly, let me tell you a little bit about myself, to put my thoughts in context. I was not born here. I was born in India, in 1979. My family moved around a lot, as a result of my father’s business ventures. We moved to Nigeria from 1980 to 1983. I heard gunfire for the first time as a child, outside my house at night; I do not remember much about that time, but I remember the noise and the fear. In 1983, there was a military coup in Nigeria. My family moved back

to India and we lived there in 1984. Indira Gandhi, the Hindu Prime Minister, was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards. There were religious riots and civil unrest across India. I remember that vaguely too. We moved again, to West Germany. West Germany no longer exists today, because in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and it merged with East Germany, which had been isolated from globalisation and the people were shocked to see dark-skinned people like my family. We moved again, this time to Singapore, when I was 10. I decided that I was done moving around; that this would be home. I told my parents I wanted to do National Service. I think it is pretty obvious why I joined the military eventually. I have an appreciation for security and peace unlike most other people my age. There are many interesting details along the way, but the only point I would like you to take away is that we are all very lucky. We are blessed to have a peaceful and safe country to live in, so that we can mug for our A levels in the library. I worry that we may not always be so lucky; the danger of a few fundamentalist extremists or cyber-terrorists attacking us keeps me awake at night. Do you honestly believe we will never be targeted for the next decade? I do worry. DO WE NEED TO DEFEND SINGAPORE? There are three ways to interpret this question: the first is that Singapore may not need to be defended at all, because it is not worth defending and we do not love it here. I have read angry posts and comments about how much that person hates a policy, or hates a politician, or hates living next to a columbarium, and they proclaim on the internet that they hate it here and want to migrate. Singapore is not perfect, I agree. There are policies that I wish could be better.


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Having lived, studied, and worked around the world, I know that no country is perfect. But perfection should not be the measure of love. Singapore is home to our friends, our families, our memories. That is worth loving, and that is worth defending. The second is that Singapore does not need to defend itself; we can rely on our global supercops to swoop in and help us. Let me tell you what happened in Ukraine. In 1994, they signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances before giving up their nuclear arsenal. This document stated that Russia, USA and UK would step in to protect Ukraine if they were ever threatened. We all know what happened last year: Russia violated the terms and effectively annexed Crimea; USA and UK both reneged on their signed commitment to defend Ukraine against any threats. So if you think we can just become a treaty ally with USA and rely on them for our defence, I think that may not be wise. Just because your condominium has a security guard downstairs does not mean that you can leave your door unlocked when you go out. We should always take responsibility for our own defence, even if there are others who claim they can help us in the task. The third way is that Singapore and the region is so peaceful, there is no need to be worried about an attack. Let me poll the audience: Raise your

hands if you take some form of health supplement like vitamins or essence of chicken regularly. Good. I assume you are all healthy, otherwise you would be at home lying in bed surfing Facebook. So let me ask you a trick question: are

Having lived around the world, I know that no country is perfect. But perfection should not be the measure of love. Singapore is home to our friends, our families, our memories. That is worth loving, and that is worth defending” you healthy today because you took the health supplements, or would you be healthy even if stopped taking them? And it is too late if you wait until you fall very sick to start taking vitamins. You have to take vitamins while you are healthy, not when you fall sick. We have that same paradox for the defence of Singapore. We need to build a strong military while we are peaceful, not after the region becomes turbulent. It is too late to wait until then because, like vitamins, military buildup and training takes a long time to have any effect. This brings me to the second question.

DO WE NEED A MILITARY FORCE TO DEFEND SINGAPORE? Yes, I think we do. The SAF enables Singapore to remain an independent and sovereign nation. Those are very abstract concepts to most people, until you have lived through what I have been through in those other countries. As teenagers, I’m sure most of you value your independence: you want to be treated and respected as a mature thinking human being. As a country, we want others to treat us the same way, and the SAF gives Singapore that weight. We also need the SAF to prevent conflicts in the region from spilling over into our back yards. If you have been reading the news, you know that the South China Sea is a tricky area. We have no claims there, but we live just next door. The SAF secures a peaceful future that allows our economy to grow and prosper. When I was in the Ministry of Trade & Industry, I worked hard to convince Rolls-Royce to move a huge chunk of their industry to Singapore. In the middle of the 2008 recession, they agreed to anchor roots here for the next few decades! One of the reasons they felt comfortable making such a huge investment was because they were confident that we would be able to guarantee security in the longer term. That is not an easy guarantee to provide. The SAF enables our way of life. As this year’s total defence theme states: the SAF gives strength to our nation. Our strength comes from our people and the effort that we have put into building it. Which brings me to the third question. DO WE NEED TO INVEST MONEY, TALENT AND EFFORT INTO OUR MILITARY? A military force costs money and needs a lot of good people. I have read petitions asking for the Government to spend less on defence and more on social causes like education and health care. I think it is a valuable debate to have, and it is not an easy dilemma to resolve. Let me share my personal thoughts. First, on money. Singapore needs to

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DEFENCE

defend itself, but given how small we are as a country, that is not easy to do. The military logic is quite complex, but I will give you the summary: it is harder to defend a small country because we cannot retreat inland to buy time, and holding a long defensive campaign is very hard. So money buys what we lack in size. We buy longrange fighters and train them against the best air forces in the world, so that we can show everybody that we can take the fight to the enemy and win. We cannot rely on outdated military technology because we are smaller; we need to be better in order for the deterrent to be of any value. Nobody is deterred by rusty broken fighters. Next on manpower. We are trying to build a deterrent force to avoid war. And in that sense, a small military is not as good a deterrent as a large military. NS is a means to an end. It shows the world that we as a people have the will to defend ourselves, in addition to having the right military equipment. That is a powerful message. The question of the length of NS is tricky. I wish it were easier to download all the skills and knowledge of military operations into an 18-year old’s brain instantly. Unfortunately, it takes time to train a person into a soldier that can be part of a deterrent force. The SAF has already implemented better training and e-learning to reduce the training time, and is looking into other ways to improve NS. Thirdly, on talent. As you can guess, I was a recipient of the SAF Overseas Scholarship. What you may not know is that I made a number of choices which baffled many. I did NS, which – if you remember my story – I was a foreigner and thus could have skipped NS if I did not want to sign up for PR and citizenship. I could have gone straight to university. But I felt that that would be wrong. I wanted to call Singapore home, and thus I knew I had to live up to the obligations expected of all other males who call it home. So I did NS. Then I was offered a Public Service Commission Overseas Merit Scholarship (PSC OMS) Open scholarship. And I requested instead to be considered for the SAF Overseas Scholarship. That also baffled many. Not only was I mad enough to do NS, I was mad enough to want to do military stuff for the rest of my life. I’m sure the psychologists had a lot to write in my assessment report about that. I told you my story, so you understand why I feel that peace and security are so important to me on a personal level. I wanted to contribute to that. Why do smart people continue to join the military? There is a saying in diplomatic circles: speak softly and carry a big stick. I am sure that our SAF scholars do not go to the best universities in the world to end up just being big sticks.

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I wanted to call Singapore home, and thus I knew I had to live up to the obligations expected of all other males who call it home. So I did NS”

The military gives the country something that we call “policy space”. We are a force designed to defeat an aggressor. But because we have very smart people who know how to be nimble, when a huge tsunami hit Aceh and Phuket in 2004, they were able to convert our military might into a humanitarian force. We understood that in the grand scheme of things, we need to be responsible neighbours. When they need our help, we need to offer what we can. I was one of the first helicopter pilots there, and I spent many many weeks flying relief missions. It is not easy to re-organise a fighting force overnight to do those tasks, but with the collective brainpower of many good men and women, we were able to do it. Smart people keep Singapore’s deterrence effective while building relationships and creating policy space for us as a country. This is a delicate balance, and requires tact and firmness to be both deterrent and diplomatic at the same time. IS MILITARY DEFENCE SUFFICIENT? No. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient. I know that sounds like an Economics essay answer, but it’s true. The entire point of Total Defence day is that military defence is not enough. The other four pillars are civil, economic, social, and psychological defence. Why is all that important? Can’t we outsource the job of peacekeeping to soldiers and leave them to it? I want to emphasise psychological defence, which loops us back to the first question I asked: will you defend Singapore, intellectually? Will you care enough to want to be part of the solution, by using your blessings of brains and leadership, to do something productive? And if you feel that your calling is elsewhere, will you still care enough to step in once in a while to debate the contentious issues in a respectful and robust way, or will you add to the cacophony of angry blogs out there? CONCLUSION Patriotism to me is not blindly waving our flag or yelling the pledge from the rooftops. Patriotism means believing that we can be better. It means believing that Singapore is worth defending, intellectually, emotionally, and physically if required. It means believing that all of us are the hope for a better age. 


WHAT NATIONAL SERVICE TAUGHT ME... How does serving National Service (NS) help in being a CEO? PIONEER speaks to StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai on how he has applied some of the lessons learnt to his current appointment. To many Singaporean sons, NS is an inevitable rite of passage. But the key to gaining the most out of it is to have a positive attitude and to cherish the bonds made over the years. This was the view held by Mr Tan, who had learnt many important skills during his then two-and-a-half-year NS stint

and his In-Camp Training (ICT) as an Intelligence Officer. Appointed CEO (Chief Executive Officer) in March 2013, he oversees the management of StarHub, one of the three big players in Singapore’s infocommunications industry, which provides a wide range of mobile, Internet and pay television services. INVALUABLE LESSONS An Infantry Officer during his full-time NS days, Mr Tan was posted to the Specialist Cadet School (then known as School of Infantry Section Leaders) as a Training Coordinating Officer. “It’s important to train and work well with the NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers, now known as Specialists) because … they know the men on the ground better. The partnership is extremely essential.” He added: “This is similar to my current job as CEO. I have to work closely with my managers, who are in touch with the workers, to gain a better understanding of what is happening on the ground. With a fuller picture of the situation, I am able to make more informed decisions.” After completing his NS, Mr Tan went through a vocation change and became an Intelligence Officer in the 1st People’s Defence Force (1 PDF), where he learnt how to analyse scenarios based on intelligence gathered, identify where the “enemies” are and predict their likely courses of action. “What I’ve learnt is that situations were never static. Similarly, in the business environment, everything is constantly changing at a very fast pace,” he said. “Our industry is very competitive. When we launch a product or service, we have to anticipate how our rivals are going to react, and try to pre-empt their reactions. My army training has taught me how to react quickly according to changes.”

LASTING BONDS Thirty years on after graduating from Officer Cadet School (OCS), Mr Tan still meets up with his platoon mates from time to time. He also takes part regularly in the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon with his fellow platoon mate, Mr Ong Chao Choon, the Singapore Advisory Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Recalling fond memories of his OCS days, the 50-year-old said: “The friendships that I forged back then were definitely my greatest takeaway… If you can continue to foster the bonds between national servicemen, you can strengthen the team spirit within the unit.” He added: “This is especially important for platoons who go for exercises together. You need to keep that team spirit up and motivate each other along the way. The same applies in the working world!” Mr Tan has also shared some of his NS experiences with Benn, his 15-yearold son, and is glad that the latter is looking forward to it: “I’ve told him that it’s physically and mentally tiring, but it’s something that you’ll look back on with a smile.” He said with a laugh: “We’ve watched the movie Ah Boys to Men together, and he asked me about several army lingo that were frequently used. For example, he asked me what is keng (Hokkien term for feigning sickness), and I thought, ‘Better not let him learn it!’ “But at the end of the day, I think he’ll realise that the army is not just about weapons and firearms. It’s all about teamwork. It’s an important life skill that he will definitely benefit from.” 

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SICC INTERVIEW

BUILDING ON THE LEGACY OF THE PIONEER GENERATION With more than 40 years’ service with SICC Deputy Chief Executive Mrs Lee Ju Song has a unique perspective of the challenges and opportunities facing Singapore.

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ingapore is a champion of free trade and good governance – principles which the SICC has stood for since its inception in

1837. As the oldest business organisation in Singapore, the Chamber and its members have benefitted greatly from Singapore’s transformation from a swampy island with attap huts into a multicultural garden city, and an international financial and business powerhouse with outreach to major trading centres around the world. The pioneer generation has laid the foundation for Singapore to be a model of sustainable growth and economic inclusiveness. Singapore is one of the world’s greatest economic success stories and this little dot is a shining beacon on the world map. It has won international recognition far beyond it size. Our members greatly value the founding generation’s foresight, judgement and remarkably transparent stewardship, and its single-minded commitment and dedication to: • A level playing field for all regardless of race, language or social status • Zero tolerance for corruption • A business-friendly environment • A clear rule of law • Top-notch integrated infrastructure. Singapore’s meritocratic and multi-racial society – built on values of integrity, thrift, respect, tolerance, hard work, discipline, perseverance, and respect for learning – has made Singapore one of the world’s easiest places to do business, and

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SICC INTERVIEW

Singapore’s first world living standard a globally-admired masterpiece. As such, many of our MNC members have set up offices and regional headquarters in Singapore. Since its inception, the Chamber has shared the values of the pioneer generation. It is the only Chamber whose membership is open to companies and individuals of all races and nationalities. Currently, more than 40 nationalities are represented in the Chamber membership, which encompasses both MNC with operations in Singapore and locally-owned business enterprises. Singapore companies form the largest single national group (40%), followed by American (15%), Japanese (7%), and British (7%). The Chamber’s Secretariat is also managed by a team of multi-racial secretariat staff. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve the expanding international business community and help contribute to the Chamber’s commitment to free trade through greater trade facilitation. Another legacy of the founding generation is having a close consultative relationship with the business community, and over the years, the Chamber has provided a respected and effective voice for this community. It is accepted by the Government as representing the MNCs. At the same time, the Chamber’s substantial local membership gives it firm roots in Singapore. Not only is the Chamber regularly consulted on matters that have a bearing on the interests of the private sector, but it also has members on numerous government advisory committees and statutory boards. It is gratifying to note that Singapore Customs has long regarded the Chamber as a partner in our common objective of providing greater trade facilitation. The Chamber has called for greater trade facilitation via the application of e-trade documentation and this led to the launch of TradeNet in 1989. The Chamber was among the first batch of pilot users and in 2000, to keep pace with the rapid shift to e-business and to improve efficiency and productivity, the Chamber launched an

eCO service. I have the privilege to work on this national project and Singapore is a model pioneer in e-trade documentation. In 2003, we launched the world’s first total eCO, a fully integrated eCO System which includes electronic issuance with electronic signature and company stamp, as well as security features to improve the security of the supply chain and became the world champion for the acceptance of eCO. Another area in which we have been successful in setting up a closer working rapport with Singapore Customs in trade facilitation is the implementation of the ATA Carnet System in 1984. This Chamber-Customs Partnership is the first in ASEAN. Under this Partnership,

It is gratifying to note that Singapore Customs has long regarded the Chamber as a partner in our common objective of providing greater trade facilitation”

the Singapore Customs provides trade facilitation to the business community by allowing the free flow of commercial samples, exhibition items and professional equipment, while the Chamber is being appointed as the National Issuing Organisation (which issues Carnets to Singapore Carnet applicants), and Guaranteeing Organisation which provides Singapore Customs and participating foreign Customs authorities assurance of full payment of import duties and taxes should the goods temporarily imported into Singapore fail to be totally reexported out of Singapore, or fail to be totally re-exported from the countries of temporary importation within the period specified. The ATA Carnet System is the international passport for goods. It is a must-have marketing instrument for the successful building up of an export market. The Carnet also reduces the risks

involved as it cuts out the need for a cash deposit for travelling business executives. We have an excellent working relationship with the Singapore Customs. The foundation upon which we develop closer cooperation is strong. The outlook is especially good and there is good reason to look forward to the future with optimism. The pioneer generation has set the stage for Singapore over the past 50 years. As beneficiaries of their great achievements, we must jointly go forward towards the next 50 years and more with the same single-minded focus, commitment and dedication to excellence so that Singapore will continue to be a strategic business hub and the port of call. We must now build on its legacy to become a smart city-state and the capital city of the Asian century. We must continue to add value to the global economy, and to create an innovative and adaptable Singapore to stay relevant in a highly competitive globalised economy. We must all pull in one direction to ensure Singapore’s continued success as a fitting tribute to the founding generation. What Singapore is today is testament to the pioneer generation’s commitment to high ethical standards and integrity. We can honour the pioneer generation by our unwavering dedication to excellence, insatiable appetite for continuous learning and innovation, and embracing competitiveness as a catalyst for progress in a highly competitive globalised world. The business environment has become more complex as mega-trends are changing and the best way to ensure Singapore’s success is to keep ourselves relevant so that Singapore will continually have better jobs, homes and life for the next 50 years and beyond. The founding generation has laid the foundation for Singapore to be a thriving international financial and business dynamo with sustainable growth and economic inclusiveness, and an enviable standard of living. These achievements will continue to inspire future generations that follow. 

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CHAMBER STAFF SPEAK

INTERVIEW WITH MAIDIN BIN PEER MOHAMED

We could not mark SG50 without celebrating and recognising our long service staff. One of them is Maidin bin Peer Mohamed who has worked for the Chamber and its members for 44 years.

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hat has it been like working with SICC all these years and what keeps you going? I now work in the Chamber’s Certification Services team which issues and endorses Certificates of Origin, other shipping documents and the ATA Carnet. I work at the certification counter receiving members’ and customers’ applications and handling processed documents. I suppose it’s been the combination of friendly colleagues and a good working environment that has kept me going all these years. I really enjoy interacting with our members and customers of our Certification Services too. When I started working for the Chamber back in 1971 I was the youngest team member. I was a messenger. My job was to deliver the Chamber’s Economic Bulletin and other circulars to members, including board and committee members. All these circulars were printed on an offset printer which would leave our hands stained with ink every time. I and my colleagues would then deliver the circulars to our members’ offices or post them at the Post Office. There were no fax machines and no email back then. What are your memories of Singapore in 1965? I remember the break away from Malaysia. I lived in Queenstown in those

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SICC INTERVIEW

days. My family and I really appreciate our lives in Singapore. Is there a particular time in your career, or landmark event for the city state that stands out in your memories of your time there? I’ve enjoyed all my time with the Chamber. I remember regularly booking a trishaw to take me from the Chamber to the Post Office to post documents and circulars. It cost SGD2.00. The most memorable time for me was when I was printing and delivering documents for Council Meetings of the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I also remember the Malaysia Cup football matches each weekend at the National Stadium and the Indian programmes at the former National Theatre. These were my main entertainments. There have been so many changes in the city since 1965. When I joined

the Chamber in 1971 we had a very big office – one whole floor. There was a very big library. There was no pantry but there was a canteen in the building. And what has been the most exciting time for you at the SICC, in terms of personal achievement, or being part of a major event with the SICC? For me, moving from being a messenger to the Certification Services team in the 1990s was a big achievement for me. I’ve worked there ever since. I like working independently and I like meeting people. I deal with people from all walks of life from company directors to dispatch riders. How has your time with the SICC helped you reach your own goals in life? My job at SICC has enabled me to bring up my family. My wife and I have 3 sons and 3 grandchildren. The Chamber has given me good work/life balance. I’ve

For me, moving from being a messenger to the Certification Services team in the 1990s was a big achievement for me. I’ve worked there ever since.”

always had the time to do what I like after office hours. The future for Singapore is exciting, and unknown. Is there anything you would like to see happen while you work with the SICC? I think the future for Singapore is bright. We definitely have good leaders. For the Chamber, getting to know colleagues was easier years ago. People were less busy then. That was what was good about those days.

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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COMPANY INSIGHT

RODYK & DAVIDSON

HELPING DEVELOP EDUCATION W

hen Singapore became independent in 1965, Rodyk was already more than a century old – 104 years old to be precise. The firm had endured many ups and downs – thriving during the rubber boom of the 1920s, and surviving the internment of its partners during the Japanese Occupation. It was, however, a very different firm from what it is today – only nine years before independence it employed its first woman lawyer – coincidentally my mother, for whom it was her first job in Singapore – but she decamped after two years to another law firm in part because Rodyk remained male-dominated, clubby and snobby, and she was egalitarian and socialist in both heart and mind. Singapore – and Rodyk – have transformed. Women make up more than half of our young lawyers, and a third of our equity partners. We had a female Managing Partner – Helen Yeo – for eight years from 2002 to 2010. Just as importantly, the character of the firm moved from colonial to Singaporean, growing together with the nation as we added to our geographical advantage of being a transport hub a burgeoning status as a financial centre and dispute resolution seat for Asia. The growth of Singapore – and of the region – has brought with it a new challenge. That of integrating nationally diverse talent so as to make the most of the regional and international demand for services that Singapore can offer. Given that law is quintessentially a people business – the success of a law firm depends entirely on the quality, motivation and integrity of its lawyers – the challenge is most acute for the law industry. Transactions are increasingly cross-border, and so advising effectively on them,

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and representing one of the parties if things go wrong, requires a multijurisdictional team of lawyers. So Singapore law firms certainly need to build multijurisdictional capability, whether in the laws of Asian countries or in one of the non-Asian systems of law still popular as the governing law of transactions, such as English law. Rodyk has for this reason employed lawyers qualified in Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, German and English law. Singapore lawyers too need to develop their skills and cultural sensitivity in managing diverse teams of lawyers. We have been helped in this endeavour by the changes made in education, especially higher education, over the past decade. To give just one example, law undergraduates have remarkable opportunities for interaction with their peers around the world, both through participation in international competitions and through year-long exchanges. Conflicts of law (the study of which country’s law applies to the different aspects of any dealing or activity) and comparative law (the study of the laws of different countries, and, in particular for Singapore lawyers, familiar with the concepts of the common law that originated from England, understanding the civil law that originated from continental Europe) are both taught extensively in our law schools. The new ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled to launch at the end of 2015, offers tremendous opportunities for Singapore business. While the AEC’s objective of transforming ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital will not be realised immediately, it is nonetheless


RODYK & DAVIDSON

a decisive step in the journey toward that goal. Almost one person in ten in the world lives in ASEAN, and if considered as a collective entity, it would rank as the world’s seventh largest economy. Thus, if businesses through ASEAN increasingly see the region as a whole as their home market, possibilities for growth will truly be reframed and enlarged. Lawyers will be involved – in structuring deals, project finance, administration of construction projects, and of course in the inevitable disputes that follow. At the same time, ASEAN faces a critical environmental challenge, one that threatens to engender tension and even conflict among its members. An eighth of global rice production occurs in ASEAN. Rice is dependent on water. The availability of water is threatened by deforestation, by global warming and by changes in weather patterns. Management of the environment itself requires a cross-border international approach. ASEAN needs to take the lead. Water flows in the Mekong, haze created by forest fires, fishing rights and practices are all examples of serious issues that need to be addressed in the next decade. Lawyers, employed by governments, NGOs and by the private sector, will be involved in attempts to resolve these issues. Mechanisms will have to be developed, and operated, so that continued rapid growth does not come at the expense of severe, and potentially irreversible, environmental degradation. To conclude, if we can say that in many ways the story of the past 50 years has been about how Singapore localised, raising educational standards across the board, so that Singaporeans – men and women – can lead fully productive lives, the next 50 will be about how Singapore becomes increasingly cosmopolitan, at the centre of a diverse but ever more interconnected and borderless ASEAN, prospering together with our neighbours.

COMPANY INSIGHT

While the AEC’s objective of transforming ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital will not be realised immediately, it is nonetheless a decisive step”

Philip Jeyaretnam SC Managing Partner, Rodyk & Davidson LLP

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EDUCATION

LEARNING, RE-LEARNING, UNLEARNING

THE PILLARS OF SINGAPORE’S EDUCATION SYSTEM Education is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of Singapore life, and with so many opportunities for young people across businesses from every corner of the earth, it will remain a key part of the ongoing development of our young. By Manoj Aravindakshan

m

eritocracy is a word that one hears in the Singapore context often, being one of the founding principles of the city-state. It is even referred to as a ‘national ideology’. Considerable effort continues to be expended

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in constant reinforcement of the fundamental premise of this principle that “opportunities are equalised, not outcomes”. Education has been at the core of the push to create a meritocratic Singapore. Over the years, the emphasis of education has evolved in

tune with the ever-changing demands of a rapidly-evolving global and regional economy. What has remained intact though is the sharp focus on creating an educated population and a highlyskilled workforce that can compete in an increasingly competitive world,


EDUCATION

the results of which are visible in the country’s standing for talent competitiveness. RANKING HIGH Singapore is placed second in the 2014 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), released by leading business school INSEAD. The study was prepared in collaboration with the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI) and Adecco Group. Only two Asian countries – Singapore (rank 2) and Japan (rank: 20) figured in the top 20 countries in the GTCI. The report highlighted the importance of vocational education and the need for vocational education to be integrated into secondary education. “Countries have to take vocational learning – that is, employability – much more seriously,” says Paul Evans, a co-editor of the report. Two of the six factors that the study mentions as being critical in maintaining talent competitiveness of countries of different GDP per capita and development levels are related to education and skills development. These are excerpted below: • Countries must consider employability or risk high unemployment: ‘talent for growth’ means meeting the actual needs of a national economy. Switzerland, Singapore and the Nordic countries customise their education systems towards appropriate levels of ‘employable skills’. • Education systems need to reconsider traditional learning: talent development in the 21st century must go beyond traditional formal education and develop vocational skills. Singapore’s education system is well positioned to continue to meet the above criteria as the system is being retuned for the future. But before we look into the direction for the future, it is useful to get a snapshot of how it is today.

Both the polytechnics and the ITE play a vital role in the direction towards continuous learning for Singaporeans with numerous options for the existing workforce to add, complement or enhance their skill sets.” THE EDUCATION ECOSYSTEM The primary and secondary school system creates multiple pathways for students to embark on their higher education and professional careers through an ecosystem comprising six autonomous local universities; five polytechnics; the Institute of Technical Education (ITE); three schools, and two private institutions providing education in the arts; other government-affiliated educational institutions such as the BCA academy, and a whole plethora of private educational institutions (PEIs). Singapore universities are well recognised and have a stellar reputation among academics worldwide. According to the latest Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, released in March 2015, the National University of Singapore was ranked among the top 25 universities in the world and the second among Asian universities, second only to the University of Tokyo. The Nanyang

Technical University (NTU) also figures among the top 100 universities in the world. The curriculum of the Singapore Management University (SMU) is modelled after the worldrenowned Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The polytechnics are an important source for the technically-competent and knowledge rich workforce that Singapore needs. The ITE, which also provides highly skilled graduates in multiple disciplines, is now the national authority for establishing requisite skills standards and providing the certification of skills. Both the polytechnics and the ITE play a vital role in the direction towards continuous learning for Singaporeans with numerous options for the existing workforce to add, complement or enhance their skill sets. In fact, from this year, the ITE is embarking on its fifth five-year strategic roadmap, named ‘ITE

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EDUCATION

DISCOVER

... The Next Big Thing!

Building structures. Designing robots. Developing apps. Discovering innovation. Our STEAM programme and makerspaces provide project based learning experiences that challenge inquisitive minds, fuel innovative thinking, and create a culture of teamwork and collaboration. Develop your entrepreneurial spirit at CIS and get ready for the real world. Visit www.cis.edu.sg/STEAM today.

As an IB World School, CIS offers the PYP, MYP and IB DP. 78 SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S Canadian International School Pte. Ltd. SUCCESS CPE Registration Number: 199002243H | Period of Registration: 8 June 2011 to 7 June 2015


EDUCATION

Trailblazer (2015-2019)’. ITE Trailblazer is the institutions’ response to meet the manpower needs for the country’s next phase of development as an advanced economy and society. The focus is very much on students to be “career-ready and worldready”. The new strategic roadmap is aligned with the government’s SkillsFuture initiative – a movement to develop an economy and society where everyone can develop to their fullest – and aims to empower students with more career pathways as well as greater opportunities for mastering in-demand skills. PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND SINGAPORE AS A REGIONAL EDUCATION HUB According to the government agency SPRING, the private education sector is a growing industry in Singapore. Moreover, with Asia expected to account for 70% of global demand for international higher education and a sizeable chunk of the estimated US$2.2 trillion global education market, opportunities abound for SMEs in the education space. These include the entire gamut, from early-stage/pre-school education to continuing education for working professionals. Leading providers in this space such as Kaplan, PSB Academy, FTMS Global Academy and East Asia Institute of Management not only provide specialist courses but also enable local students to get degrees and diplomas from Universities around the world including the UK, US and Australia. Not surprisingly, the local education industry includes more than 5,000 companies with revenues of over S$3.7 billion, value-add of S$2.1 billion and contributing 0.7% of GDP. “Education has always been of great importance in Singapore and the city is perceived as the ‘Educational

hub for South East Asia’,”says Dr Easwaramoorthy Rangaswamy, Principal of Amity Global Business School in Singapore. “The lively country has a great instructive framework, giving numerous opportunities to international students who wish to study here. Another incredible thing that makes Singapore an advanced education hub are the solid connections with industry; as a student you will have the opportunity to gain useful experience and find ease of employability here.” While degrees and diplomas from a foreign university seem to be alluring, it seems that their popularity is more due to the practicality and flexibility that they accord students rather than improved employability. “It doesn’t matter whether a student is from a local or overseas university as far as job prospects are concerned,” says Julie Wong, HR Manager at Global Sources, a Nasdaq-listed B2B media company that has operations in Singapore.

While degrees from a foreign university seem to be alluring, it seems that their popularity is more due to the practicality and flexibility that they accord students rather than improved employability”

“Employability really depends on the individual. During the recruitment process, we aren’t concerned whether the candidate has graduated from a local institution or from overseas”. BUSINESS/MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN SINGAPORE Considering Singapore’s standing as a first-world city that serves as a regional financial services and management

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EDUCATION

Overseas Family School

Mission :

To maintain a happy, safe and effective school for overseas families living in Singapore.

https://sites.google.com/a/

ACADEMIC

DIVERSITY

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

• OFS maintains the highest academic standards

• Over 3000 students from more than 70 countries - no dominant culture

• OFS offers a very wide range of languages to learn, from Kindergarten through to IB Diploma in grade 12

• Rigorous implementation of IB and IGCSE Curricula

• Student-life is a rich cultural experience, unique among international schools in Singapore

faircount.com/intranet/

• The OFS Study Preparation Programme (SPP) allows rapid acquisition of English for students who need to learn or improve their English • SPP is an intensive, highly successful and widely acclaimed programme

CAMPUS

SPORTS & ECAs

MOTHER TONGUE SUPPORT

• All of our four schools, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle and High School, are located on the same campus

• OFS promotes a huge array of sporting interests for all ages

• Our rich Mother Tongue Programmes will undergo a major expansion from August 2015

• From August 2015, all four schools will operate from a stunning new campus

• Our prime focus is to promote full involvement - all students, all ages

• There is a huge range of ECA clubs and activities at all levels

Accredited K-12 by WASC, Western Association of Schools & Colleges Registered in Singapore by CPE, Council for Private Education, to 31 August 2015 Registration Number: 199104269R Cert80 no: EDU-3-3106 SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS Validity: 23/12/2013 – 22/12/2014

• We will offer Mother Tongue classes in 14 different languages from Pre-K through to grade 5, for 4 periods per week. Some will be from Pre-K to grade 12 • Mother Tongue classes will be integrated into the curriculum, and will not involve an extra fee

For more information, contact:

Ms Joyce Chee, Student Recruitment Mrs Soma Mathews, Registrar Overseas Family School 25F Paterson Road Singapore 238515 Tel: +(65) 6738 0211 Fax: +(65) 6733 8825 Email: admissions@ofs.edu.sg You may also visit us at http://www.ofs.edu.sg


EDUCATION

hub for several multinational corporations, it is not surprising that the city is home to some of the leading business/management institutions in the world. According to The Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking 2015, Singapore’s National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School and the Nanyang Business School were ranked 31 and 40, respectively. NUS Business School also ranks in the Top 10 amongst international business schools (excluding those in the US) in the Forbes Top International Business Schools rankings. Several top-notch international business schools have also set up campuses in Singapore. These include INSEAD, ranked fifth in the world by the FT rankings; University of Singapore Booth School of Business, James Cook University, SP Jain School of Global Management and Amity Global Business School. What is more, some of these business schools are expanding rapidly. 
In January 2015, INSEAD opened a 10,000m2 S$55 million Leadership Development Centre in Singapore with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board to serve as a “premier business innovation and education hub” for the region. Expected to significantly increase the number of students, executives, top scholars and practitioners on-site, the new centre is aimed at meeting the growing demand for management and leadership education in Asia. The Amity Global Business School in Singapore has also grown rapidly with over 1100 students graduating since starting with around 50 students in 2010. The school has attracted students from over 30 nationalities besides Singapore. “The mission of our Singapore campus is to educate students to be both globally-minded businesspeople and socially responsible citizens. This means focussing on innovation- and knowledge-based management, customeroriented business design, and developing a higher-than-average level of cultural Intelligence,” says Dr Rangaswamy, Principal of Amity Global Business School. “Singapore’s role as a regional and global business centre has a great influence on the student experience at our campus here.  Lecturers draw from rich local sources of corporate best practices, entrepreneurial innovation, and governmental policy examples to provide real-life illustration to the topics and subjects throughout

Lecturers draw from rich local sources of corporate best practices, entrepreneurial innovation, and governmental policy examples to provide real-life illustration to the topics throughout the curriculum”

the curriculum, while students get to experience first-hand the vibrant business culture of this country.” Closer industry-institution collaboration and the need for work-based learning is a recurring theme among both technical institutions as well as business schools. Elaborating on this theme, Dr Abhishek Bhati, Associate Dean (Business & IT) of James Cook University, Singapore, says: “James Cook University is committed to improving the productivity levels of industry and encourage sustainable practices in Singapore. The aim is to integrate work experience flexibly into a research report/dissertation. Students who have no current employer may identify a suitable work-based applied research project through a centralized collaboration between faculty and industrybased partners, including community-based organisations.

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To ensure that critical manpower requirements are met, particularly in the high-growth sectors, select IHLs will serve as “sector coordinators”. Initially, there will be 17 such strategic sectors with coordinators”

“The key challenge for higher education institutions like ours is to offer courses and programs in business administration that are relevant to the industry. Another challenge is to produce graduates who are work ready. Feedback from our industry partners and research suggest that graduates from programs with ‘work integrated learning’ and application of knowledge tend to fit easily in the work environment. Thus, institutions should incorporate practical and applied learning outcomes in the subjects and programmes.” Job readiness or employability of fresh graduates is often one of the key expectations from educational institutions. However, the onus is on the students themselves, according to Julie Wong of Global Sources. “Most fresh graduates do not have work-related experience and the company needs to provide on-the-job training. However, I expect the fresh graduates to have a good attitude and the willingness to learn,” she says.

ABOVE: Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat

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FUTURE DIRECTION OF EDUCATION AND LEARNING IN SINGAPORE Education in Singapore is at the cusp of undergoing a fundamental shift in focus. From a ‘study book’ system – one that has served the country well in its first 50 years as an independent nation – where grades and qualifications often became the primary differentiator, the roadmap for the future points to “Learning for mastery, Learning throughout life, Learning for life.” As Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat said in a speech in parliament recently: “(This pioneering path) will have learning on-the-job, learning-just-in-time, learning-in-the-right-placeat-the-right-time. Learning without boundaries – without the boundaries of institutional walls, age, place or time.” The shift in direction takes into account the recommendations of the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) committee which submitted its report in August 2014, based on a thorough review of the applied education landscape in Singapore. The recommendations focused on four key areas: • Strengthen education and career guidance significantly to help young Singaporeans make well-informed choices about their education and career pathways. • Equip young Singaporeans with a good skills foundation; work more closely with industry in the development of applied programmes. • Enable individuals to better acquire the right skills that can help them in their careers. Introduce learning options that will help students to deepen skills after graduation. • Create pathways for progression based on skills, contribution and experience. Recommend developing skills frameworks, and offer more modular CET opportunities. The Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) will play an important role in this direction by working closely with companies. Various “Earn and Learn” programmes will also provide opportunities for students to acquire on-the-job training and other skills even as they graduate from the academic system. Polytechnics and universities here are expected to offer over 300 skills-based modular courses by the end of the year in a wide range of specialist areas. These include Digital


EDUCATION

Forensics and Investigation, Functional Genomics, and Coaching & Counselling Skills, to name a few. To ensure that critical manpower requirements are met, particularly in the identified highgrowth sectors, select IHLs will serve as “sector coordinators”. Initially, there will be 17 such strategic sectors with coordinators. The selected IHLs will work with companies to devise comprehensive programs to help students get higher skills in a specialist area while being on-thejob and getting paid in the process. “Our focus must be on the ends - acquiring, mastering and using deep skills. If workers or companies attend courses to meet quotas, or because of incentives for it, very little will be achieved from attending the courses. But if companies make the best use of the higher skills of workers, it leads to higher productivity, higher margins; in turn, they can pay higher wages. Higher skills, higher wages, higher productivity. This is the virtuous circle that we must seek to achieve,” said Mr Heng Swee Keat in his speech in

Parliament. Supporting this new direction of lifelong learning will be various initiatives by the SkillsFuture Council, which is working to “develop an integrated system of education, training and career progression for all Singaporeans, promote industry support for individuals to advance based on skills, and foster a culture of lifelong learning.” STAYING AHEAD BY THINKING AHEAD The re-setting of the priorities for education is another case in point of Singapore planning well ahead to maintain its competitiveness, which is vital for the country’s continued progress. It is also a testament to the pragmatism that underpins almost everything that the country undertakes. “Whatever works” is an oft-heard mantra here; and it is clear that only education that can contribute to better employability and quality of life will be the way forward. After all, relearning and unlearning are equally critical aspects of the learning journey. 

e h T IB World School in Singapore !

Specializing ONLY in the IB curriculum

An authorized IB World School specializing only in the IB Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programs. Extensive range of IB Diploma subject options.

ISS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Established in 1981 Elementary & Middle School Campus 25 Paterson Road, Singapore 238510 Tel: (65) 6235 5844 Fax: (65) 6732 5701 High School Campus 21 Preston Road, Singapore 109355 Tel: (65) 6475 4188 Fax: (65) 6273 7065 Website: www.iss.edu.sg SINGAPORE

UN

DO • WOR

L

SC H OOL • É C

CO

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS O

LE

DU M ONDE

ISS is registered by the CPE • Registration no: 201316975E • Registration period: 16 June 2011 to 15 June 2015

M

PROVISIONAL

D

Focusing on Personal & Social Development, Maximizing Academic Excellence

LEG IO DEL

Email: admissions@iss.edu.sg

Accrediting Commission for Schools

SINGAPORE

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PROVISIONAL

Cert No.: EDU-3-3095 Validity: 12/07/2014 - 11/07/2015


SCHOOL INSIGHT

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

CIS SUPPORTS SINGAPORE’S 50-YEAR RISE AS A LEADING GLOBAL CITY T

he Canadian International School (CIS) in Singapore is proud to join Singapore in celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence. For 25 years we have supported the country by providing high-quality education to the international community that has grown in line with Singapore’s independence and new global standing. A PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE We embrace excellence in all realms, but we believe that our faculty and student communities are extraordinary. • A passionate and expert faculty: 63% with advanced or double degrees • 100% pass rate for 2014 IB DP cohort • 12.5% of our 2014 IB DP cohort achieved 40 points or more • Over 154 universities globally have offered places to our graduates. A GLOBAL CURRICULUM CIS is one of only a few international schools in Singapore to offer all three International Baccalaureate programmes (Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme) to children aged 3 to 18 years. Our curriculum is benchmarked

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against national curriculums globally, allowing students to transition to another school when the time comes, or to graduate and be admitted to leading universities anywhere in the world. SINGAPORE’S RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE CREATES UNIQUE LEARNING EXPERIENCES Our location offers us a unique opportunity to take advantage of Singapore’s rich cultural history, and incorporate this into our curriculum and everyday learning experiences. Students develop cultural awareness, become open-minded and understand others’ perspectives. The CIS Open Minds outdoor learning programme turns Singapore into an outdoor classroom. Students learn about world history at sites such as Kranji War Memorial, Changi Museum, the Old Ford Factory and Reflections at Bukit Chandu; Art and Culture in Chinatown, at the China Cultural Heritage Museum and the Geylang Serai Malay village; ecosystems at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and the Singapore Zoo. A GLOBALLY CONNECTED LANGUAGE PROGRAMME Multilingualism is becoming ever more important in today’s global marketplace. The CIS Global


CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

SCHOOL INSIGHT

Languages Programme develops students’ linguistic capabilities, providing them with the necessary skills to compete on the world stage. The language choices are: • Daily Chinese or French acquisition classes – Junior Kindergarten to Grade 10 • Pioneering bilingual Chinese-English programme – Junior Kindergarten to Grade 4 • Intensive Chinese, French or Spanish classes – Grade 11 to Grade 12. GUIDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF GLOBAL LEADERS We carefully create a culture that encourages leadership and inspires action. By providing age appropriate leadership opportunities schoolwide, we aim to develop students who are confident, responsible and willing to stand up for what they believe is right. In Secondary School, our students participate in several leadership activities including Model United Nations conferences, Student Councils and leadership retreats, while in the younger years, they learn about leadership through our excursion week programme, service and outreach activities and presenting to their peers. OPTIMAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND SUPPORT We develop confident learners by creating environments that are safe, secure, supportive and stimulating. In order to foster independence and help each student reach their individual potential, we create a strong support system of teachers, counsellors and developmental programmes. We believe the key to reaching your own potential relies on a sense of connectedness together with feeling valued, engaged and purposeful. A KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMME THAT FACILITATES EXCELLENCE THROUGH INQUIRY AND PLAY In our vibrant Kindergarten classrooms (3-5 years), we employ an outstanding inquiry and play-based approach grounded in substantial research and best practices. Our well regarded approach is based on the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, taught by a highly qualified and experienced team and supported by state-of-the-art, purpose-built indoor and outdoor facilities. A STEAM PHILOSOPHY THAT FUELS INNOVATION Our engaging STEAM programme integrates five key areas of innovation – Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics. We employ an inquiry-based approach which together with our

brand-new makerspaces, provides students of all ages with enticing and visionary learning experiences that foster creativity, critical thinking, and spur innovation and invention. We empower our students to take control of their own learning during the entire process. WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT US “We are indebted to CIS for giving our child every opportunity that she ever wanted or deserved. All her Grade 11 & 12 teachers supported and advised her whenever she needed it. Our children have gone to a number of international schools in this region, however our experience at CIS has been the best. No other school has responded so readily, with interest and enthusiasm, as CIS whenever we reached out. You should be proud of your institution and the teachers”, Manjot Deol, High School Parent (2013). As Singapore looks to the future and achieving further greatness, so does CIS. Our school continues to be firmly committed in supporting Singapore with a world-class international education for the vibrant and diverse expat community living on the island. 

Contact details: CIS has two campuses on the island – Lakeside in the west and Tanjong Katong in the east. E: admissions@cis.edu.sg T: +65 6467 1732 www.cis.edu.sg

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SCHOOL INSIGHT

ESSEC

ESSEC BUSINESS SCHOOL Development and Smart Cities and the Institute for strategic innovation and services, Asia-Pacific.”

E

SSEC Business School has grown significantly in the past handful of years and is considered a leading institution in the education space in the city/state. Here, Professor Martine Bronner, Dean of ESSEC Asia-Pacific and Prof. Kevyn Yong, Academic Dean of ESSEC Asia-Pacific, talk to the SICC about the growth of the school. Can you tell us about the history of ESSEC Business School in Singapore? How did it form and what were the objectives? “We have a long history in Asia. We have a strong network of partnerships with highly reputable academic institutions based in the Asia-Pacific region such as Shanghai, Tokyo, India, Seoul, Taipei, and Singapore,” says Prof. Martine Bronner. “In early 2000 the Singapore government took a decision to turn Singapore into a hub for higher education and launched the ‘Global Schoolhouse’ initiative. We were one of the few international schools invited under this policy by the Singapore government, through EDB, and took up the offer as we knew it would be a good opportunity to expose our students to this fast-growing and dynamic region. ESSEC opened its doors in Singapore in 2005 initially as a gateway to Asia for our students from the main campus in the Paris area. Since then our growth has been steady and we have expanded our

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activities and launched new programmes to address the regional market. EDB and JTC have been very supportive of our expansion leading to us building the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus at One-North. “ESSEC Asia-Pacific, for many years, was located at the National Library Building. Around three years ago we decided to build a campus, and decided on Nepal Hill, One-North as the location. “The establishment of the Singapore campus is very much in line with ESSEC’s 3i Strategic Plan of innovation, involvement and internationalisation, which was launched early last year. Singapore is the perfect location to have a campus. The One-North area around Nepal Hill has been developed to promote entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, skills and talent development. It is a hub for advanced research and higher education of the highest standing internationally. “Backed by world-class, multicultural faculty based in Singapore and in collaboration with the faculty in France, ESSEC Asia-Pacific aims to achieve influential high level research in Asia. The campus also houses several research institutes within our facilities in four specialised fields, namely the the Institute for Research and Education on Negotiation, Asia-Pacific; the Institute of Health Economics and Management, Asia-Pacific; the Institute for Sustainable

Is there anything that makes operating in Singapore unique compared to your other two campuses around the world? “Here a majority of our programmes have a strong pan-Asian core with a global perspective. At our campus in Cergy the programmes have more of a global focus. Singapore is a very dynamic, multicultural environment providing a great exposure of diversities for students. At the same time, Singapore is strategically located in the world’s highest growth region,” says Prof. Kevyn Yong. “Our pedagogy is “learning by doing” and we implement the same approach at all our campuses. One of the key knowledge that ESSEC has been teaching is innovation and entrepreneurship. In this respect, we have a strong focus on overseas internships and projects for our students, such as the Asian Strategy Project. The Asia Strategy Project (ASP) is a three-month intensive consulting programme, designed in partnership with Capgemini Consulting, for students to work on innovative business models in Asia. This programme is offered to students who are in the final year of the Master of Science in Management programme. “Cergy is a classical institution with its building, history and campus life, whereas in Nepal Hill, One-North, we are strategically located in a very vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship centre of Singapore. In addition, many students and participants in this region tend to be either bilingual, trilingual, or even multi-lingual.” What makes Singapore a key location for ESSEC and does it approach executive education differently here given the location of the campus? “Singapore is an extremely multicultural environment that is safe both politically and economically,” says Prof. Yong.


ESSEC

“There are numerous MNCs with their headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region based in Singapore. “Keeping this in mind, our Executive Education programmes are tailored for companies and organisations that are based and operating in the Asia-Pacific region. We are always aware that business trends and approaches are fairly different in Asia when compared to the rest of the world. “With the expertise of our faculty, the school offers innovative degree and executive programmes with Asian insights and global perspectives. Through its series of open-enrolment workshops, advanced management programmes, customised courses and the Executive MBA Asia-Pacific, the school delivers tailor-made education experiences that suit the specific needs of individuals and organisations. “We also run executive workshops for organisations located in other parts of Asia with the courses being designed by our faculty in ESSEC Asia-Pacific. “Theses programmes are on various topics including Innovation Strategy, Negotiation, Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Luxury Brand Management, Health Economics and Management, Financial Modelling.” What have the key successes for the establishment been, and how has its growth occurred since it opened? “The establishment of this new building is a testament to our commitment to this region and to Singapore. We are committed to become an influential academic contributor to the higher educational ecosystem in Singapore and the region,” says Prof. Bronner. “ESSEC has also been an institution which adapts constantly to the changing times and industries. We certainly had to adapt ourselves to this new environment. To simply take what we did in France and apply the same approach here would not have worked. We really took the time to study the market and culture of this dynamic region. In return we are able to offer programmes to graduates and executives that suited to their needs.”

Prof. Yong adds: “Prior to coming to Singapore we had very little experience with launching programmes in the AsiaPacific region. Our programmes also have to meet the needs of of professionals who are already working or wish to work in this specific market. “It is a unique opportunity whereby we get to combine the existing knowledge ESSEC already has with that of our AsiaPacific colleagues and as a result be able to offer new and relevant course content and knowledge. We will continue to be at the forefront of business education with our cutting edge pedagogy and

SCHOOL INSIGHT

to create new learnings. For example, in order to be recognised as a smart city or nation Singapore has to learn from other countries, but she also seeks to be a leader in smart cities.” How does ESSEC intend on meeting those challenges? “We live by our pioneering spirit,” says Prof. Yong. “Our institution, driven by research and dedicated to our students and participants, has undertaken great reforms which strengthen our scientific and pedagogical reach. “We have also begun to redesign our

Singapore is a hub for higher education. The competition from other parts of Asia is gaining momentum. With competition increasing, Singapore also has to continue to strive as a centre of excellence and keep herself attractive to foreign talents and investments” use of technology as we explore the development of new market trends and new business ideas.” Does the team at ESSEC identify any challenges that Singapore must prepare for in the education space? “Singapore is a hub for higher education. The competition from other parts of Asia is gaining more and more momentum. With the competition increasing, Singapore also has to continue to strive as a centre of excellence and keep herself as attractive as possible to foreign talents and investments. It is challenging to ensure that one is always at the forefront of education at all times,” Prof. Yong says. “Singapore has always been very relevant, competitive, and keeping up with the new developments says Prof. Bronner. “Today, that set of challenges is just as important if not more so. The new challenge is to be more influential and impactful on the world stage. “Educational institutions face a dual demand where on the one hand students need to be taught the latest knowledge, but at the same time be equipped with the skills and capabilities

learning offer according to the concept of ‘design learning’ which has an aim of empowering our students with being the authors of their own learning path and setting the specific and coherent final goals of their curriculum. Students get to build their own course. This allows them to customise their education so as to prepare themselves for the career they wish to embark on. The Build Your Own Course (BYOC) is a one-of-a-kind concept. The BYOC initiative allows professors to share their research and ideas for the future with students and engage them in discussions to further refine their propositions for developing future courses. This goes to show that ESSEC continually grows with our students. “In addition we inaugurated the ‘Knowledge Lab’ last December, a fab lab of innovation in research and education in Cergy and are in the process of building one here in Singapore too. The ESSEC KnowledgeLab is accelerating its development with the amplification of innovative classes, the creation of social networking training workshops, and numerous initiatives in favour of interactivity and creativity.” 

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ď‚ŤEDUCATION

Q&A WITH DR CHIP KIMBALL, SUPERINTENDENT OF SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL Can you tell me about the history of the institution in Singapore? SAS has grown up with Singapore. We were established as an educational institution before Singapore declared its independence. We have seen Singapore grow, become modernised, and triumph through its struggles. Singapore American School experienced similar struggles and triumphs. We are as intertwined with the island as any other institution in the

country. Since our founding in 1956, Singapore American School has been on the leading edge of preparing students for their future. When we opened our doors with 105 students, our first classes were held in large colonial-style bungalows. A garage was the science lab and assemblies were held in the dining room. As Singapore grew, so did the school. We are proud that we have always been focussed on

creating a vibrant learning environment that is student-centred, international in perspective, engaging, active, and critical. In our current work as a school, we are grounded in our strategic anchors of excellence, extraordinary care, and possibilities. Those anchors help us cultivate exceptional thinkers, the heart of our vision as a school. We are incredibly optimistic about the future of education in Singapore and Southeast Asia and our place within this country. Are there any unique elements of running an educational facility in Singapore? One interesting thing about running a school in Singapore is the access we have to very rich, deep cultural components of Southeast Asia. Business leaders in the US often refer to Asia as the centre of growth and economic activity for the future. We are literally in the middle of it, and it is exciting. Singapore is a relatively young country and as a result of that, we continue to

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EDUCATION

We have 60 years of success with students who are world leaders in business, service, medicine, politics, law, and in innovative companies throughout the world.

adapt as the country evolves. As a school that sends all of our graduates to four-year universities, predominantly in the US, we are committed to ensuring that we prepare students for relevance in Asia and beyond. SAS is positioned to do this better than any other institution in Singapore. The pervasive culture in Singapore is one that values innovation, striving for excellence, and uses education as a part of the national infrastructure. At SAS this is also our mindset, and we find ourselves in a fast-paced and interesting environment for thinking through challenging issues and adopting change. How has the education sector evolved to match the needs of Singapore as it moved through the different stages of its output, from manufacturing through to technology? Education in Singapore has evolved dramatically, particularly for expatriate

families. Today international families have more choices than ever for education. At Singapore American School, we provide world-class opportunities for our families, ensuring that our students are competitive in the new millennium. This has required us to evolve with the changing landscape, which includes not only evolving our academic programs, but athletics, activities, and service, which keeps our students’ skills relevant. Our students have experiences that are second to none. Examples include access to robotics and coding, as well as internships in businesses and banking, alongside performing arts and athletics that set the gold standard

in Asia and beyond. We ensure that students have skills necessary for the professional world and also build the character traits that we believe are needed to be a model citizen. What are you most proud of as it relates to Singapore American School? We are most proud of our students. We have 60 years of success with students who are world leaders in business, service, medicine, politics, law, and in innovative companies throughout the world. It is the legacy of SAS and our ability to innovate and evolve that continues to make us the premier American international school in Singapore. Can we predict what the future will hold for the sector, and Singapore as a whole? I’m very optimistic for both Singapore and Singapore American School. Successful schools must continue to evolve to ensure that experiences for students are personal, tailored for their needs, and relevant for the skills that they will need to be engaged in future world marketplaces. This will require innovation, and as importantly, experiences that will develop students’ character, resiliency, grit, and compassion. 

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT

MANUFACTURING

THE CHANGING FACE OF SINGAPORE’S MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

The manufacturing sector has changed dramatically throughout the years, adapting and evolving as Singapore changed. Here we look at some of the key eras and milestones of the industry.

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anufacturing has long been one of the prime engines of progress right from the start of Singapore’s independence. Manufacturing has played a key role in building the cornerstone of the country’s economy. Today, manufacturing remains a key sector, contributing close to a fifth of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing more than half a million people with employment across diverse manufacturing jobs. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board, manufacturing also provides a strong multiplier effect to the Singapore economy. For every $1 output of the non-oil manufacturing industry, a further $1.42 is generated in additional economic output. Manufacturing activities in Singapore have evolved to become more knowledge-based, and technologydriven with strong positions in the aerospace, electronics, water, marine and offshore, biomedical sciences and chemical sectors. In order for manufacturing to remain a contributing and sustainable component of the republic’s economy,

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Singapore must continue to restructure and reposition the industry in response to the competitions that are taking place in both the regional and global manufacturing industries. Singapore must focus on providing a conducive business environment for advanced manufacturing activities and strengthening the local small-medium enterprises (SMEs) through deepening of skills, driving productivity that is innovation-led, and promoting growth through collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, and internationalisation. THE 1960s: THE LABOUR-INTENSIVE INDUSTRALISATION At the start of Singapore’s independence, the manufacturing industry, alongside the newly formed nation, faced many challenges: unemployment rates were at double-digits, a lack of natural resources except for its people, the domestic manufacturing base was tiny and there was limited industrial know-how and domestic capital. To meet these challenges, Singapore adopted an export-oriented industrialisation strategy, attracting foreign investments from multinationals to develop its manufacturing and financial sectors to create more jobs. The Singapore government was proactive in promoting export-oriented and labour intensive industrialisation through offering incentives to attract foreign investments. In the 1960s, the first international


MANUFACTURING

electronic companies set up basic assembly lines in Singapore, producing silicon chips and circuit boards. THE 1970s: PRO-BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND RAPID EXPANSION According to the Department of Statistics, by 1972, one quarter of Singapore’s manufacturing firms were either foreign-owned or joint venture companies with the United States and Japan as major investors. Singapore’s stable political climate, pro-investment policies, strong infrastructure, skilled workers, and the rapid expansion of the world economy from 1965 to 1973, helped fuelled the country’s annual double-digit growth. Manufacturing as a percentage of GDP rose from 17 per cent in 1969 to 23.6 per cent in 1979. THE 1980s: THE ERA OF TECHNOLOGY INTENSIVE AND HIGH VALUE-ADDED INDUSTRIES By the 1980s, the government changed its strategic focus from building labour intensive industries to skill and technology intensive and high value-added industries. In particular, information technology was given priority for expansion. Singapore had become one for the leading centres in Asia for the production of consumer electronics. THE 1990s: THE KNOWLEDGE-DRIVEN INDUSTRIES In the early 1990s, the Jurong Town Council embarked on various initiatives such as the development of business parks, wafer fabrication and Jurong Island to improve the infrastructure of Singapore and further crystallise Singapore’s attractiveness as an investment location. These business parks, along with the Singapore International Manpower Programme aimed to attract foreign talents, helped increase R&D and high-tech manufacturing capabilities. In 1997, Singapore attracted almost $8.5 billion worth of manufacturing fixed assets investments of which about 70 per cent were foreign and the top three foreign investors were USA, Japan and Europe. However, for Singapore to remain competitive, the country has to build up its internal capabilities through innovation driven productivity and overseas collaborations to create an external economy to support local growth. THE PRESENT: FOCUS ON BUSINESS MODEL INNOVATION AND COLLABORATIONS Today, Singapore is journeying through a paradigm shift in manufacturing, from the process-oriented improvement of kaizen to Silicon Valley-style innovation, new ideas that go beyond streamlining processes to transforming the business models to remain competitive.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Manufacturers today are moving up the value chain, as production of lower value-added, commoditised products such as consumer electronics are moving to other lower-cost countries in Southeast Asia. Manufacturing companies in Singapore cannot operate “business as usual”. On top of high business costs and a tight labour market, many manufacturers are struggling because their business models have

While Singapore manufacturers cannot compete with emerging countries on cost, they can partner with companies from these countries to expand to other parts of the world” been outpaced by disruptive technologies and global competition. For example, Singapore companies in the past were able to build their businesses around being middlemen, agents, distributors, and traders. However, such roles are being marginalised, as it has become easier today for the buyers to find the sellers and vice versa due to globalisation and the internet. Manufacturers that are slow to respond to these challenges are finding their competitive positions being eroded. Additionally, the world of manufacturing is becoming increasingly polarised. Countries such as China and Germany are the “factories of the world”, and on the other end of the spectrum there are the “factories to the factories of the world” such as Taiwan and Japan, which supply intermediate goods to the “factories of the world”, while the rest of the countries will fall in between or become value chain suppliers. Singapore manufacturers are increasingly finding it difficult to compete on either ends of the spectrum; however, manufacturers can collaborate locally and with SMEs from other countries to co-produce supply to the value chain of these global factories. While Singapore manufacturers cannot compete with the emerging countries on low cost, they can however, partner with companies from these countries to expand to other parts of the world such as Africa and Latin America which are going through rapid industrialisation. By value-adding their know-how in doing business internationally, this presents an opportunity for Singapore-based manufacturing companies to transform their value propositions. Singapore manufacturing companies can also work with overseas manufacturers, particularly overseas SMEs, to co-produce or assemble products in Singapore. The goods can carry a “made-inSingapore” brand, which has become a strong and

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT

MANUFACTURING that Singapore manufacturers can leverage on new overseas business opportunities by following the MNCs as they expand into the global markets.

trusted global brand. Singapore manufacturers can also collaborate more among themselves. The larger ones can support the local SMEs in terms of assigning more jobs and contracts to them. Together, Singapore manufacturers can be presented as reliable value chain suppliers to multinational manufacturers already in this region so SG50.pdf 1 9/1/2015 10:11:13 AM

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FUTURE CHALLENGES Singapore’s competitive advantage goes beyond its pro-business environment and mindset, political and social stability and strong legal and governance framework. The country’s world-class logistics infrastructure and sophisticated supply chain networks provide dense connectivity to the rest of the world. Furthermore, Singapore’s strong intellectual property protection creates an environment conducive for companies to innovate, which will be critical for the success of the manufacturing sector. In addition, Singapore has a globally respected education system that is highly geared towards meeting the industries’ needs. This system, that has served the nation well, is going through its own “model innovation”. Taking on the recommendations of the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) Committee to further strengthen Singapore's applied education pathways, provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to realise their full potential and aspirations, and to support better alignment of the supply of and demand for skills,


MANUFACTURING these recommendations are now being implemented through concrete initiatives announced during the recent 2015 budget. With people being the nation’s key resource, the challenge is to overcome the talent shortage particularly in the manufacturing sectors and SMEs (which constitute about 97 per cent of manufacturing entities in Singapore). This can be done by igniting interests in engineering amongst young students, reducing leakage in the education system through education and career guidance as well as structured internships, as well as profiling careers in engineering and the manufacturing industry as attractive options. While Singapore’s manufacturing industry has made progress in terms of productivity, more manufacturers now realise that they need to go beyond mere costcutting measures. More innovative approaches to bringing their businesses to the next level have to be adopted. This encompasses more than offering innovative products, services and processes that are largely easy to duplicate. An innovation-led productivity paradigm requires mindset change and an open culture to introduce new strategies that will capture, create, develop and deliver value propositions for customers at the right timing. As the Singapore economy continues to

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

With people being the nation’s key resource, the challenge is to overcome the talent shortage particularly in the manufacturing sectors and SMEs”

restructure, our local manufacturers must continue to anticipate and respond to change in the business environment to remain competitive and grow. One way for the smaller manufacturers to scale up to the next level of growth is through mergers and acquisitions. Indeed, the Singapore manufacturing sector has come a long way, transforming from being labourintensive as reflected by images of factories with chimneys to one that is knowledge-based and that embraces the entire supply chain of the manufacturing industry. Additive manufacturing, robotics, aerospace, logistics, advanced materials technology, Internet of Things and big data are now the strategic focus in which the manufacturing industry is teaming up with international experts in these fields to elevate manufacturing to the next level. The Singapore Manufacturing Federation wishes Singapore a happy SG50! 

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COMPANY INSIGHT

AIR LIQUIDE

GROWING WITH SINGAPORE: A PART OF ITS HISTORY

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he late 19th Century marked a time in history that abounded with innovation and revolutionary changes. Stimulated by industrial growth, the community of scientists and engineers in France, England, Germany and the US kept their noses to the grindstone, pushing out inventions set to change the world. In 1902, two such visionaries, Georges Claude and Paul Delorme, founded Air Liquide, the company that would not only revolutionise, but permeate every facet of today’s industries. With their foresight, Air Liquide was inevitably bound for greater things, and this translated to global expansion and exploration, leading to the start of the Group’s operations in Singapore in August 1911, operating under the name of Far East Oxygen & Acetylene Co. Ltd. As Singapore developed, so did Air Liquide’s commitment and investment into the country to support its development. However, it was not until the 1960s that we could see a window into the

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magnitude of the investment that Air Liquide has in Singapore today. 1959 saw the People’s Action Party celebrate their victorious win at the first elections to the Legislative Assembly and consequently, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his party worked doggedly to raise Singapore’s developing nation status. This was a turning point for Singapore as it began to embark on a bold and far-sighted programme of industrialisation through an exportoriented strategy. From a country that was largely labour-intensive in the 1960s, manufacturing in Singapore slowly evolved to become more sophisticated in the 1970s, attracting companies specialising in assembling computer parts and peripherals. This had broad repercussions for Air Liquide as the rising demand for gases that came along with the emergence of this industry led to two significant developments. Firstly, the rapid industrialisation and modernisation programme led to the need for


AIR LIQUIDE

a more robust supply chain to meet its needs. Hence in 1975, Air Liquide’s Far East Oxygen & Acetylene Co Ltd and British Oxygen Corporation’s Singapore Oxygen decided to form a joint venture, and Singapore Oxygen Air Liquide Private Limited (SOXAL) was formed. Secondly, there was a sudden uptick in the need for larger quantities of bulk and liquid nitrogen, as well as gas mixtures and special gases. This led to the construction of its first Specialty Gas facility in 1978, shortly followed by its investment into its first Air Separation Unit in 1980. While the assembly of computer parts and peripherals would continue to be a significant component of Singapore’s manufacturing output, the emphasis began to change in the 1980s. Proliferation and sophistication of digital technology and data heralded an unprecedented growth in information technology and recognising its potential, Singapore began to establish semiconductors wafer fabrication parks and infrastructure to attract companies to set up wafer fabrication plants in Singapore. The effort was a major success and the first wafer fabrication plant was set up in 1984, followed by 18 others in later years. The importance of reliability and purity of the gas supply meant that SOXAL had to develop a reliable engineering system that could convey gases into the manufacturing process without interruptions. Through this, the concept of Total Gas Management was created and designed for this industry, with SOXAL managing the entire gas supply chain, leaving the customer free to focus on their own business. The 1990s witnessed another dramatic transition of another industry when Singapore embarked on the ambitious plan to reclaim the waters around 7 islands to form what is today known as Jurong Island. The development and success of the Petrochemical and Chemical industry have allowed SOXAL to develop a critical mass of activities on the island, growing its production capacity by more than 30 times since its first modern gas production facility in 1980, connected through a 200km pipeline network that links Jurong Island to the Jurong Industrial Estate. The end of reclamation works in 2009 also brought a flurry of activity with the construction of the first renewable diesel plant in Singapore. Its requirements triggered SOXAL to build a world-scale hydrogen production plant in Singapore. Using steam methane technology, this plant was the largest plant in Southeast Asia. A 40km hydrogen pipeline

COMPANY INSIGHT

These experiences will be the cornerstone for its successors to continue with stakeholders to support Singapore’s next phase of growth.” was also built to connect the plant in Jurong Island to the renewable diesel plant in Jurong Industrial Estate. The strategy for Singapore extended beyond extending its pipeline network – in 2014, it also successfully integrated an additional hydrogen supply source into its hydrogen network, adding to its robustness and reliability. The permeation of many other industries in Singapore today means that SOXAL supplies gases to many other industries as well, including aviation, marine, biomedical, construction, healthcare and many others. In 2007, Air Liquide acquired full ownership of SOXAL. By now, the Group had grown from strength to strength through the struggling and turbulent years of early Singapore, the phenomenal growth of modern Singapore, and through these, gained invaluable lessons of survival in the country’s evolving landscape. These experiences will be the cornerstone for its successors to continue their partnership with various stakeholders to support Singapore’s next phase of growth. After more than 100 years of supporting the industries in Singapore, SOXAL is tightly woven into the fabric of the manufacturing industry of Singapore. We are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to another 100 years of skilful needlework that will see us even more tightly bound and linked. 

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT

HOSPITALITY AND DINING

SINGAPORE – TRANSFORMATION OF THE NEXT CULINARY CAPITAL As Singapore evolved through the years from one form of city to another, so too did its hospitality sector. Challenges remain, even as it continues to reflect the changing face of world food.

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he hospitality scene in Singapore has seen its fair share of boom and bust. But whether it is through good or bad times, what is perpetual is the love for food in Singaporeans’ blood. As dining has become an obsession, the food industry is constantly evolving to keep up with the trends and demands. As we celebrate our fiftieth birthday this year, let us look back on the transformation of our dining scene since Singapore’s beginning. From a largely unexplored island where the indigenous people grew fruits, Singapore began attracting immigrants for work and trade in the 1800s. The influences of the Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, Arabs, Jews and Armenians began to revolutionise the way the native people ate. In the time since then, the people started creating a multi-racial and multicultural

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food scene that is truly unique to Singapore, with many heritage dishes resulting from marriages between cuisines, or carrying heavy influences from other regions from around the world. Then came the early post-war and postindependence days in Singapore, where we saw many illegal itinerant street hawkers selling cooked food, fruits and other fresh produce and skilfully dodging the authorities in daily cat-and-mouse games. In an attempt to clean up the streets and solve public and environmental health issues, the authorities decided to resettle the hawkers in hawker centres in the early 1970s. The first hawker centre, the Yung Sheng Food Centre at Jurong, was started. Since then, hawker centres continue to be part of Singapore’s food culture. THE ARRIVAL OF LUXURY During the 1980s, when luxury five-star hotels crept into Singapore’s hospitality industry, they brought with them an international flavour, having foreign chefs helming their kitchens. Fine dining and hotels were like synonyms, as independent fine dining restaurants operating outside of hotels were almost unheard

BELOW: Tetsuya’s signature dish of ocean trout confit.


HOSPITALITY AND DINING

of. By the 1990s, Singapore was welcoming many new independent restaurants serving very varied cuisines. From the western fine dining of Les Amis, to Chinese restaurant groups such as Crystal Jade, the trends and concepts were changing and new players were flocking in. Ten years after the turn of the millennium, history was made with the opening of the two integrated resorts – the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa – and they brought with them a whole new dining scene. The new wave of restaurants by famed celebrity chefs such as L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Joel Robuchon Restaurant by chef Joel Robuchon; Waku Ghin by chef Tetsuya Wakuda, and many others took the Singapore food scene by storm. From then, the way is paved for even more top-notch culinary talent to want a share of Singapore’s market. With our own local culinary darlings such as chef Willin Low and chef Andre Chiang, who are earning a name for themselves in the international gourmet world, Singapore is now not only importing foreign brands and talents, but also seeing great success of home-grown brands overseas. Local brands such as Tung Lok has been most successful in bringing the brand to countries like Japan, India, Indonesia and China; Thai Express, started in 2002 has since expanded to close to 100 stores across the Asia-Pacific region including Mongolia, Australia and China; and BreadTalk celebrated its 100th store worldwide opening in Shanghai in 2007, seven years after its start-up. Undoubtedly, Singapore has gained a steadfast position in the world’s culinary map and we have morphed from a conglomeration of affordable hawker food and homely local restaurants to a culinary paradise of international cuisines, award-winning restaurants and celebrity chefs. MEETING THE CHALLENGES That said, Singapore’s hospitality industry has been facing some chronic challenges, with few solutions in sight. With rising affluence in the population, the service industry is not the top career choice for most. With the perception of harsh working conditions, many found their passion not being able to see them through the job. With the government’s restriction of quota for foreign workers, most F&B companies are facing difficulties in attracting the right frontline service staff. This labour crunch has inevitably affected our service standards. In the latest Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore revealed at the end of last year, it was found that the F&B sector scored 65.8 points out of 100 – a

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

decrease of 6.5 points compared to the previous year. The restaurant sector saw a stark dip of 10.5 points in customers’ satisfaction. While we foresee the labour shortage to continue haunting the industry for a while, we are seeing increasing number of players leveraging on technology to help ease the situation. Food Glossary in JTC Summit, for example, is currently running its gigantic 400-seater café smoothly with just 10 staff, made up mainly of mature workers or back-to-work women. Their secret? Technology. From self-ordering kiosks and mobile ordering apps and even electronic payments, technology has helped them optimise their operations with minimal manpower. With the shift in economic focus to the service and hospitality industry, new concepts are always sprouting, new players are always entering, and new trends are always shaping the markets. At the end of 2013, Singapore houses close to 7,000 food and beverage establishments. With a total land area of slightly over 700 square kilometres, that is about 10 outlets per square kilometre. Pretty impressive for a little red dot on the world map. However, in the same year, while close to 600 new outlets came into play, over 400 closed down. The brutal truth of the difficulties keeping alive in the hospitality industry is proving too much for many aspiring restaurateurs to bear. As Singapore is gaining fame as a culinary and hospitality capital, the need to remain dynamic, exciting, diversify and competitive is increasingly compelling. Players not only have to be receptive to constant adjustments to trends and demands, but also think outside of the box to achieve optimised productivity and efficiency in order to stay afloat amidst the competitive business landscape. Article supplied by the Restaurant Association of Singapore. 

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COMPANY INSIGHT  MARINA BAY SANDS

MARINA BAY SANDS –

THE CROWN JEWEL OF SINGAPORE W

ith its three 55-storey towers crested by the spectacular Sands SkyPark, Marina Bay Sands has undoubtedly become the crown jewel of Singapore’s urban landscape and a recognisable tourism icon across the world today. But its contribution to Singapore goes beyond adding to our city skyline, with tangible impact on tourism receipts and arrivals, the local economy and the Singapore community at large. Before the Integrated Resorts (IRs) opened in Singapore, the country saw nine million tourist arrivals a year. By 2014, this figure rose by over 65 per cent, with Singapore welcoming 15.1 million tourists.  The origins of Marina Bay Sands’ presence in Singapore started in 2005, when the Singapore government, after rigorous research and consultation, decided to move ahead with the development of Integrated Resorts in Singapore. In offering the parcel of land in Marina Bay for bidding, it saw that a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions)-led IR could give the

Looking ahead, Marina Bay Sands’ focus is very much aligned with the Singapore Government’s Quality Tourism aim and strategy to pursue a yield-driven approach”

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Republic an edge in attracting international trade shows, generating thousands of jobs for locals, drawing diverse groups of visitors to the country, as well as boosting tourism and spending. The result was a brief from the government with clearly defined goals from the onset related to boosting tourism, creating jobs and benefitting local business. It was this shared vision that won Las Vegas Sands the high-profile project bid in May 2006.  Five years on, this vision and foresight have paid off handsomely, with Singapore gaining a first mover advantage that it still maintains today.   A SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR SUCCESS Today, Las Vegas Sands is the world’s most valuable Integrated Resort company based on market capitalisation, and Marina Bay Sands is the most successful Integrated Resort in the world as measured by EBITDA.   The property and the operating environment created by the Singapore government are being studied by several countries as a success case study for Integrated Resorts. From an infrastructure perspective, Marina Bay Sands’ MICE-led programming and services model has proven to be a strong and resilient means to attract high-value tourism. Last year, it hosted over 2,500 events and welcomed close to 1.8 million attendees.  Since its 2010 opening, it has brought in over 380 new-to-Singapore MICE events to the


MARINA BAY SANDS

Republic. This is a great complement to its attractive integrated lifestyle offerings across entertainment, dining, hotel and retail. Over the past two years, an average of 40 million visitors walk through its doors every year, ensuring that Marina Bay Sands remains a must-visit on the itinerary of tourists. Aware that its team members are its greatest assets, Marina Bay Sands invests heavily in training and technology to raise service standards and improve workforce productivity. To date, it has invested in over 3.37 million training hours for its staff in a spectrum of courses related to service, leadership and management, as well as Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses. From a software perspective, Marina Bay Sands continues to raise the bar in Singapore. From an entertainment perspective, Broadway shows such as Beauty and Beast, as well as the first ever Asia’s Got Talent, are staged at  its theatres, while exhibitions such as Da Vinci: Shaping the Future and the ArtScience Late series form part of the museum’s events calendar.  Other memorable highlights include the Singapore Jazz Festival, Rolling Stones’ concert, Singapore International Film Festival and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 red carpet event. CONTINUED CONTRIBUTION TO SINGAPORE Looking ahead, Marina Bay Sands’ focus is very much aligned with the Singapore Government’s Quality Tourism aim and strategy to pursue a yield-driven approach, enhance destination attractiveness, support industry competitiveness and build local engagement.  Marina Bay Sands aims to continue to contribute to the MICE landscape and the vibrancy of Singapore’s annual calendar with exciting events like Singin’ in the Rain and new culinary offerings such as Gordon Ramsay’s highly-anticipated Bread Street Kitchen in 2015. It will continue to reinvest and reinvigorate its offerings. Examples of recent enhancements include the ongoing refurbishment of its 2,561 hotel rooms, attracting more world-class performances and concerts, and attracting innovative retail concepts to The Shoppes, which already has the largest collection of luxury labels in the region. In addition, it will regularly evaluate and introduce innovative developments in response to evolving tourist behaviour and needs. Examples of popular initiatives include the express check-out service which expedites and shortens guests’ check-out time. One in two hotel guests today choose to

COMPANY INSIGHT

simply utilise the express check-out option through an automated kiosk, or via in-room video check-out service. This paperless system not only improves overall efficiency, it is also highly sustainable. Most importantly, Marina Bay Sands continues to be an active and responsible partner of the Singapore community. From an economic standpoint, the organisation is committed to procuring from and supporting Singapore-based companies, which accounted for 90% of total procurement contract value in 2014. Marina Bay Sands has also created jobs in Singapore and directly hired over 9,400 employees. Sixty of its employees are under 35 years old and with an emphasis on hiring Singaporeans, the organisation provides career pathing and tracking with a level of rigour employees will find hard to find elsewhere locally. Beyond economic contributions, Marina Bay Sands’ local corporate social responsibility programme, Sands for Singapore, mobilises employees and gets them involved in serving Singaporeans and communities in need. Team members raise millions of dollars each year for local charities through the annual Sands for Singapore Festival, a programme that leverages its property in unique and fun ways. As Singapore gears up for the next 50 years, Marina Bay Sands is well-placed to serve as a longterm partner to the nation’s social, tourism and economic development. 

BELOW: Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool at night

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

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THE CORE BUSINESS OF IMPROVING PATIENTS’ LIVES In many ways, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in Singapore reflects the Singapore success story.

A

s Singapore invested heavily in the requisite building blocks to become an economic hub in Asia (notably in infrastructure, transparent laws, and education), the pharmaceutical industry has, in parallel, invested heavily in Singapore to make the country the centre for biomedical R&D and manufacturing. Pharmaceutical companies have collectively invested more than S$5 billion in Singapore, notably in upstream manufacturing, R&D, and other infrastructure. Industry members have partnered with the Singapore Government to nurture the next generation of scientists, researchers and professionals. Approximately 7,000 researchers carry out biomedical sciences R&D in more than 50 companies and 30 public-sector institutions, with more than S$1.49 billion spent on R&D annually. This has positioned Singapore as a hub for biomedical research, with Singaporean scientists and clinicians involved in discovering and developing innovative therapies for diseases with high unmet needs across the world. In addition, eight out of the top ten pharmaceutical

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companies of the world have a manufacturing base in the country, and many pharmaceutical companies have established their regional headquarters in Singapore. The Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) was founded on 26 May 1966, less than one year after Singapore’s independence in 1965. The Association was then known as the Pharmaceutical Trade Association. The necessity of forming an association came about when Singapore imposed an import quota on pharmaceutical products soon after Singapore became independent. The association made representations to the government, which finally resulted in the abolishment of the quota system. Today, SAPI has grown to become a significant contributor to the Singapore economy and healthcare outcomes. SAPI is made up of 39 global companies and with its affiliates in Singapore collectively employ more than 5,000 employees, conduct hundreds of clinical trials annually and have total annual sales of around $700 million in Singapore. SAPI’S COMMITMENT TO SINGAPOREAN PATIENTS While the industry is proud of its contributions in making Singapore a leading biomedical hub for


PHARMACEUTICALS

R&D and manufacturing, improving patients’ lives in Singapore is at the core of what we do. This commitment is reflected clearly in SAPI’s Vision: “SAPI’s vision is to make innovative medicine accessible to patients in Singapore. We will achieve this through a sustainable and valued partnership with healthcare professionals and providers, government and patient group stakeholders, and a reputation of consistent ethical behavior.” To achieve this vision, pharmaceutical companies seek to partner with key stakeholders to optimise patient access to innovative medicines beyond its discovery and manufacturing. Such areas include collaboration with health authorities on new drug applications, supporting education of healthcare professionals, and developing patient assistance programs to help patients with limited financial means obtain access to innovative pharmaceuticals. SAPI believes such partnerships are key to optimise the strong measures that Singapore has rolled out to expand healthcare access to all Singaporeans. THE WAY FORWARD While much has been achieved in the past 50 years,

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

To achieve this vision, companies seek to partner with key stakeholders to optimise patient access to innovative medicines”

SAPI believes that the next 50 will be even more exciting. Singapore is well positioned to capture the accelerating pace of scientific discoveries in biomedical R&D and manufacturing technologies. In parallel, expanded healthcare access policies promise that more of these innovations will be available to more Singaporean patients. SAPI looks forward to continuing to be part of the Singapore Success Story for the benefit of all patients in the next 50 years. 


INDUSTRY INSIGHT

PETROCHEMICALS

PETROCHEMICAL AND CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Jurong Park, reclaimed from the ocean and completed in 2009, is a great reflection of the importance of the petrochemical industry in Singapore.

S

ingapore is a small city state with a land mass of about 715 square kilometres, with a 2014 population of 5.47 million. As a country with hardly any natural resources, our reliance on foreign investments is crucial to the economy's expansion. Textiles, electrical appliances and toys manufacturing were some of the first industries to set foot in Singapore in the 1960s. As the island state began transforming into an urbanised city in the 1970s, the global technology evolution then paved the way for the expansion of the manufacturing sector. Investments poured in for electronics and computer peripherals manufacturing, among many others. Shipping and ship repairs were also thriving businesses in view of the strategic location of our seaport. In 2014, the Port of Singapore handled 33.9 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and was placed second behind the Port of Shanghai which had a throughput of 35.2 million TEUs. Singapore Airlines, established in 1972, developed into a world class airline with branding that many companies would envy. The 1960s saw the establishment of oil refining activities in Singapore with investments coming from Shell and ExxonMobil, both of whom had their business built on oil and kerosene trading. These developments helped to fuel the economic growth as we moved towards industrialisation after the nations’

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independence in 1965. The government saw these advancements as an absolute need to provide jobs to the people, strengthen social stability, and forge racial harmony as we transformed this multi-racial city state from the third to the first world. In the late 1970s, the Singapore Refining Company Pte. Ltd. was established. At the same time, plans were also underway to build the first petrochemical plant on an island close to the south-western coast of Singapore known then as Pulau Ayer Merbau. In 1984, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS), a joint investment comprising the Government of Singapore, the Development Bank of Singapore Limited and the Japan-Singapore Petrochemicals Company Limited, became the first petrochemical plant to be commissioned in South East Asia. This investment was a logical progression as the feedstock came from the oil refining activities. PCS is an upstream company housed in the Singapore Petrochemical Complex (SPC) where downstream companies like Sumitomo Chemical, Chevron Phillips, Dow Chemical, Celanese, Shell, Mitsui and a few other companies are located. The different chemicals produced by PCS such as ethylene, propylene, acetylene, butadiene, 1-butene, MTBE and benzene, supported the downstream companies as raw materials. PCS also supplies utilities such as water, steam and compressed air to


PETROCHEMICALS

these companies. Over the years, more downstream companies created their footprint in SPC. It is important to note that the Economic Development Board played a vital role in attracting these foreign investments into Singapore. The presence of the refining activities and the petrochemical plants in the clustered islands off the south-western coast of Singapore paved the way for a reclamation project in the 1990s with the aim to amalgamate the seven islands and transform it into a world-class petrochemicals and chemicals hub. The reclamation project was completed in 2009 with an expanded land area of 30 square kilometres. Plug and play features such as common service corridors and shared amenities provided new companies in Jurong Island the convenience to operate. Today, more than 90 petroleum, petrochemical, specialty chemical, logistics, warehousing and transportation and supporting companies are housed in Jurong Island. The total foreign direct investments were in excess of SGD$35 billion and the industry contributes to one-third of the manufacturing output. ExxonMobil’s Singapore Chemical Plant expansion which was completed in end 2012, is ExxonMobil Chemical’s largest investment in the Asian region. Together with Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore and Shell Chemicals, Singapore currently has an ethylene production capacity of about 4 million tons per year. Jurong Island is also home to the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) and the Chemical Process Technology Centre (CPTC). ICES was established as an autonomous national research institute under A*STAR. Its role is to provide highly trained R&D manpower, to establish a strong science base and to develop technology and infrastructure to support future growth of the chemical industry. ICES has partnered with chemical companies to develop state-of-the-art technologies that provided them a competitive edge in their business operations. The idea of having a training centre for the chemical engineering undergraduates was conceived by EDB. Nanyang Polytechnic was engaged to develop and establish the Chemical Process Technology Centre (CPTC) in the early 2000s. The CPTC housed a Kerosene Distillation Unit Plant designed to operate as an actual production unit in a typical commercial plant. The process unit will allow trainees to experience real plant operations to enhance their training experience under safe and controlled conditions. The CPTC is currently managed by Petrofac Training Services and continues to provide practical process plant training to Polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education undergraduates.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

New developments in Jurong Island have been taking place over the years to cater to the sustainability of our business. The rock caverns were constructed just beneath the island to provide storage for crude oil, hydrocarbons and condensates, hence freeing valuable land space for other practical usage. A Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal was built to receive LNG from vessels before delivering it through pipelines for distribution to end users. This mode of securing LNG is vital to Singapore’s energy security. Alternative cracking feedstock like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was also introduced to counter the high price of naphtha in certain cycles and enhance competitiveness. In recent years, the industry, through the Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC), has been working very closely with all relevant statutory and regulatory agencies on Jurong Island Version 2 initiatives. These new initiatives basically look at a few key things that would help our industry drive sustainability; alternative feedstock, energy efficiency, water planning, environment, process safety, logistics and connectivity. Jurong Island has indeed evolved in the past two decades. It was timely to revisit and work on an improved model for our future sustenance. Moving ahead, there are many challenges faced by the Singapore chemical industry which is reliant on many external factors for its competitiveness. In

Today, more than 90 petroleum, logistics, transportation and supporting companies are housed in Jurong Island”

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

103


INDUSTRY INSIGHT

PETROCHEMICALS

As we move forth into the next decades, it is important to understand that the business of chemistry helps to advance technology and the human race. the last three quarters of 2014, the tremendous drop in crude oil prices from USD107 per barrel to under USD50 per barrel has to a certain extent helped the steam cracking plants with lower feedstock costs. The sustainability of such margins would however soon be tested as end users start to put pressure on their suppliers. Before oil prices started to tumble, the industry has been plagued with the uncertainty on what the global market would be like when process plants constructed to crack shale gas come on stream. This phenomenon has yet to unfold but the signs are already there. As the Singapore Government move ahead to align with the world on climate change goals, the industry operating sphere with regard to the environment, water and energy usage will have to improve in terms of operating efficiency and emission levels of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, the industry continues to soldier on, building capacity and capability both in physical business operations and human resource. The pilot studies that the chemical industry is currently embarking on for the next three years with EDB and the Association of Process Industry (ASPRI) aims to help improve productivity of the process industry. The chemical industry in Singapore maintains a high

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level of Health, Safety and Environment performance. Apart from regulatory compliance, industry members strictly follow the management codes prescribed by the industry led Responsible Care programme. The chemical industry has in the past few years maintained the highest safety records in Singapore. Chemical companies understand that well implemented HSE programmes are paramount to the success of their business. As we move forth into the next decades, it is important to understand that the business of chemistry helps to advance technology and the human race. The chemicals the industry produces go into many revolutionary applications that help to combat climate change issues, building – materials and automotive parts for example – as well as components for renewable energy. Membrane research, reverse osmosis, desalination and other water technologies have provided cleaner water to many who were once deprived. Food security is another area where the industry played a vital role. Food packaging technology has made it possible for packaged food to have a longer shelf life. The chemical industry in Singapore continues to play an important role both for the manufacturing economy and the growth of the region. With the world population projected to increase by 35 per cent from 7.2 billion people today to 9.7 billion in 2050, the advancement of good chemistry is crucial indeed to sustain this global growth. 

Terence Koh L W, Executive Director of the Singapore Chemical Industry Council


Staying Ahead in the Vibrant Hub of Asia

Asia and made Singapore its regional office.

Singapore. Therefore, the ability to innovate

The vision and mission of the two preceding

and match the pace in which businesses

entities and LexisNexis are very similar - when

think and work in this constantly evolving

you equip people with information and technology, you are entrusting them with the power to shape the world. By providing

and competitive landscape is critical.

products and solutions designed specifically Ella Wang Managing Director Southeast Asia

for professionals in the legal, risk management,

Where must Singapore go over the coming years to remain a vibrant hub of Asia?

corporate, government, law enforcement,

Asia will develop at an even more rapid

accounting, and academic markets, we

pace in the coming decades, bringing both

enable our customers to not just excel in

opportunity and competition for Singapore.

the practice of law but also to develop their

For Singapore to remain a sustainable and

businesses efficiently, effectively, and in a

What makes Singapore unique is the great

vibrant hub, businesses and investors need to

transparent manner. Our extensive online

care in which various agencies in Singapore

see attractive long-term future prospects in

libraries - Lexis® Singapore provides legal

push hard to make Singapore an efficient

Singapore. A good mix of global and local

practitioners with quick access to multi-ju-

place to do business in. The elements that

businesses will contribute to the dynamism,

risdictional case law, expert opinions and

make Singapore attractive as a hub for

diversification,and resilience of its economy.

journals in a single platform; Nexis® and

businesses are not by accident. It is a careful

Access to qualified manpower will increasingly

Lexis®Diligence offer comprehensive collection

and concerted effort by the Government

determine where businesses locate their

of accurate and reliable information for

and its agencies, including the judiciary and

high-value operations. Productivity improve-

business intelligence and risk management;

the academic institutions, to implement

ments are also necessary to sustain

Lexis®PSL , Lexis® Affinity and CounselLink®

programmes and projects that make doing

economic and real wage growth.

are intelligent platforms that aid professionals

business in and from Singapore easier than

in

anywhere else in the world. "The Ease of

TotalPatent® is a service that offers the most

with the city-state?

Doing Business", a study by the World Bank

comprehensive,

group places Singapore as No.1 in the East

In line with Singapore’s focus on the Rule of

patent research and retrieval system.

What makes Singapore a unique place to do business in Asia?

managing

legal precise,

practices; and

and

dynamic

Asia and Pacific region. For LexisNexis, this is

How does LexisNexis plan on growing

Law as illustrated in the speeches of the Honourable Chief Justice of Singapore and

a great boon for us here in Singapore as it is

Are there any challenges to doing

a natural hub for us to expand our influence

the Attorney-General of Singapore during

business in Singapore?

the Opening of Legal Year 2015, LexisNexis'

into the neighbouring ASEAN region. How has LexisNexis met the needs of the

The pace of doing business in Singapore is fast. Customers expect the best and most

Singaporean business community?

efficient service from us. More and more,

LexisNexis has been around in Singapore

core of their business strategy to create

for decades. We started off as Malayan Law

value for customers by improving their

Journal in 1932, a home-grown entity

operational efficiency. Also, digital technology,

which was acquired by Butterworths. In

aided by world class infrastructure facilities,

1982, LexisNexis acquired Butterworths

strongly impacts how businesses are run in

businesses are putting technology at the

primary focus shall be the Rule of Law – making law throughout the ASEAN region more transparent and accessible to the business community and public at large.

For more information, contact LexisNexis Singapore at helpdesk: +65 6349 0110, email: help.sg@lexisnexis.com, website: www.lexisnexis.com.sg


COMPANY INSIGHT

SHELL

SHELL SINGAPORE: A HUB FOR GREAT PEOPLE W

hen Shell acquired eight hectares of Pulau Bukom and built an oil storage installation in 1891, it established a relationship with Singapore that would last more than a century. Today, Shell is the oldest oil major in the country and has been a partner to the government and the community. Casting our eyes to the future, Shell Singapore aims to be the most competitive and innovative energy company for Singapore and the region. We intend to be here for the long haul, tapping on Singapore’s central location to attract and develop human talent, and grow our businesses in ways that support Singapore. Ultimately, Shell Singapore aims to become a hub for great people – harnessing their innovativeness, developing their talent, and enabling them to contribute to the world. PRODUCING HIGH-VALUE PRODUCTS AND A PIPELINE OF EXPERTISE Three national awards have defined our contributions to Singapore’s economic and talent development: in 1961, the Singapore Government

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SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

awarded pioneer certificates to investors who set up pioneer industries, and Shell was the first to receive one – for erecting Singapore’s first refinery. Thirty years later, in 1991, Shell was conferred the first Distinguished Partner in Progress award for its role in economic development. The start of this millennium has been marked by many investments for the future. They ensure we have the capacity to continue producing quality products for a growth region. In 2010, we completed the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex – the Group’s largest investment to date in Singapore – creating the Group’s largest integrated oil and petrochemicals site across Pulau Bukom and Shell Jurong Island. In 2012, we announced that we were expanding the capacity of our Ethylene Cracker Complex on Pulau Bukom. In two other separate new investments we have increased our polyols and ethylene oxide production, and are producing High Purity Ethylene Oxide on Shell Jurong Island. These activities culminated in an inaugural award conferred on Shell in 2013 by the Singapore


SHELL

Government marking our contribution to Singapore society: the Honorary Partner in Progress award. We continue to build on this strong base and strive to play a leading role in sectors at the intersection of Shell’s long-term interests and Singapore’s development. In 2015, we will be part of the new Singapore Lube Park, an integrated jointventure facility that is a first for the industry; we will also have an expanded Lube Oil Blending Plant and Grease Manufacturing Plant adjacent to it in Tuas. Our track record in providing liquefied natural gas globally puts us in good stead to help Singapore meet its future energy needs. For decades, we have invested in science and technology education for young people as a way of giving back to the community. This commitment ensures we play our part in building a sustainable pipeline of engineers and scientists who can serve Singapore and the world. Our commitment will be strengthened by continued business-friendly conditions in Singapore. The cost of doing business, including energy and labour cost, must stay competitive to enable global businesses like Shell to remain effective as national contributors. A STRATEGIC HUB Shell Singapore aims to leverage the country’s strategic location to build a global presence. Shell Integrated Gas already operates in Singapore as our global headquarters. Our other businesses, including trading and supply, manufacturing, chemicals, and aviation have a significant presence and operate from Singapore to serve the region. These are businesses built for the long term and will provide jobs and development to Singaporeans and global talent. We will continue to improve our business operations in ways that match the nation’s need for energy efficiency and security. Our Mono-Ethylene Glycol Plant on Shell Jurong Island uses awardwinning Shell technology that saves energy and water. We also use waste water at our plants. In 2014, the Pulau Bukom manufacturing site won the 2014 Energy Efficiency National Partnership or EENP Awards in the Excellence in Energy Management category. Our green commitment continues. In 2015, Pulau Bukom will have an additional cogeneration plant to reuse steam and produce power to meet the site’s energy needs. We aspire to make a difference in education, environment and enterprise. These are causes that we truly care about.

COMPANY INSIGHT

Shell Singapore aims to leverage the country’s strategic location to build a global presence”

GLOBAL TALENT HUB Shell hires the best talent, regardless of creed, colour and orientation. It is out of this diverse and inclusive melting pot that innovations emerge. Our global brand and core values – honesty, integrity and respect for people – are ones that our staff are proud to uphold. We will look to identify more partnership opportunities with Singapore’s universities to train industry-ready technical talent. While we continue to invest in building the talent pipeline, we also want to harness our strong track record in developing leaders. As we mark Singapore’s 50th year of independence, we also look forward to next year when Shell celebrates its 125th year in the country. As Shell Singapore heads beyond 125 years, we aim to become the region’s most competitive and innovative energy company for Singapore and the region. Our pioneering spirit has served us well, and we are bringing it into the future. 

By Goh Swee Chen, Chairperson, Shell Companies in Singapore

SUSTAINING SINGAPORE’S SUCCESS

107


QBE celebrates the golden jubilee with Singapore… “QBE Singapore is a specialist in providing general insurance products to businesses. We are recognised as the leader in such specialty lines as marine, liability, and professional indemnity classes. As an industry leader with more than 120 years of proven performance in Singapore, QBE’s success is built on the strength of our partnerships with professional insurance intermediaries.” - Karl Hamann, Chief Executive Officer, QBE Singapore The Insurance Specialist for Business As a specialist of general insurance, QBE Singapore offers a comprehensive range of products with the strength and depth to fulfil the specific insurance needs of all customers. By serving corporate and commercial customers, we have a deep understanding of this specialised market and the intermediaries distributing products. Our insurance specialists continuously develop clientfocused leading edge products that cover simple solutions through to complex risks.

We form part of the Emerging Markets Division of the QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all the key insurance markets. The QBE Group is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, with head quarters in Sydney and over 16,000 employees in some 40 countries. As part of the Emerging Markets Division, we can better serve customers by leveraging our Asia Pacific network spanning across 16 markets with more than 1,500 staff in some 60 offices.

QBE has been particularly strong in the marine sector; the portfolio grew 46.9% over the last five years (2010-2014) in both onshore and offshore businesses. For the 2014 year end, we maintained our leading position and ranked 2nd in the hull and liability segment with 28% of market share. In Cargo, we were ranked the 4th with 10% of market share for onshore business. Professional indemnity class continues to do well with a market share of 15%, placing us as 2nd for onshore business. This growth momentum is expected to continue.

As businesses increasingly establish cross-border operations with assets spread across multiple countries such a presence, particularly a regional presence, is a key competitive advantage.

Apart from just providing cargo and hull insurance, QBE Singapore also offers a Protection & Indemnity (P&I) product that covers in respect of third party liabilities and expenses arising out of the ownership or operating of ships. Towards Service Excellence Over the last 5 years, we invested heavily in front line underwriting, technology and infrastructure. QBE Group’s vision is to be one of the top three multinational players across the Asia Pacific region and the leading specialty insurer in 15 key markets, focusing on commercial and niche personal lines. The growing trends for speed in business and ease of transaction, determining factors when choosing insurers, led to the 2014 launch of an innovative online insurance portal, QBE Qnect , in Singapore and Hong Kong. With this innovative web-based portal, insurance brokers and agents provide quick quotes, issue policies, better manage customer portfolios and generate data analytics. It is available on desktops and mobile devices so customers’ insurance needs can be addressed at our intermediaries’ fingertips. Two products already on QBE Qnect in Singapore are Travel and QBE Business Insurance Solutions. The latter is a commercial insurance product developed specifically for the small-to-medium-sized commercial market, which accounts for 99% of all enterprises in Singapore today. Since its launch, QBE Qnect has received positive response from the intermediaries. QBE Singapore will add more products to this innovative platform. A Regional Advantage With our long history in Singapore, we are happy to celebrate with the nation its golden jubilee year. Through global and a regional presence of over a century in Asia Pacific, we gained rich local knowledge and expertise in each market that in turn enables us to tailor-make solutions to customers, an unparalleled advantage over competitors.

Growing our onshore business To tap into the growing offshore market opportunities, QBE set up an Asia Broking Centre within its Singapore Branch. The Centre facilitates the consolidation of regional placements and provides a one-stop shop for brokers to place their regional property, casualty and marine accounts with the insurer. The QBE Asia Broking Centre brings the best of underwriting from across the region offering security, efficiency, cost effectiveness and quality claims management service to its intermediary partners. Talent Development QBE believes in workplace equality and advocates a diverse culture that values people. By realising the organisational value that comes from a diverse and inclusive workforce, QBE believes it can be a true employer of choice. In line with this approach towards managing and developing talent, QBE established a Global Leadership Academy to recognise and train future company leaders. A Competent Underwriting and Claims Workforce QBE’s underwriters and product managers are trained to continuously improve their technical knowledge. They embrace a positive “can-do” attitude, integral in serving emerging groups of knowledge-based customers with complex needs. In addition to offering tailor-made solutions, the insurance business is also all about making claims easy. We at QBE Singapore continue to strengthen the specialist skills of claims and management teams as well as develop more online services to better provide for our business partners and clients. “Streams of opportunities will continue to unfold; the challenge is for us not to lose sight and seize the very first opportunity that knocks on our doors. As competition intensifies even more, the key to a winning strategy is to collaborate with our business partners to achieve a common goal for success and wealth building,” says Karl Hamann, Chief Executive Officer, QBE Singapore. Source: GIA Statistics for year ended 2014


Happy 50th anniversary, Singapore. Here’s to our next 50 years of making things possible together.

Singapore has risen to become a global success story and QBE is proud to have played a role in helping achieve its dreams. We’re the oldest Australian insurance company in Singapore, with a heritage that goes back around 125 years. Over that time we’ve helped turn numerous bold ambitions into successful realities. For example, we insure several of the city’s key tourist attractions, infrastructure and major sporting events, with just the right level of cover. And now, as we look towards our next 50 years, we’re helping Changi Airport expand to bring even more holiday and business travellers to our wonderful city. qbe.com.sg


Sustaining Singapore's Success  

Sustaining Singapore's Success

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